Jackson Reports $82K in Legal Fees
Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.), the subject of an investigation tied to a pay-to-play scheme orchestrated by ex-Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D), reported $82,000 in legal bills in the fourth quarter of 2009, according to his most recent campaign finance report.The payments, made to Chicago-based attorney James Montgomery and the law firm Steptoe & Johnson, bring Jackson’s legal bills to more than $220,000 since December 2008.According to his FEC report, Jackson lists two expenditures to Montgomery totaling more than $32,000, bringing his total payments to the Chicago attorney to $172,000 to date.In addition, Jackson paid a $50,000 retainer to Steptoe & Johnson in October, the first payment that he has reported to the law firm.The Committee on Standards of Official Conduct, commonly known as the House ethics committee, announced in September that it would hold off its investigation of Jackson in deference to an ongoing Justice Department probe. Jackson, who has denied wrongdoing, is identified as “Senate Candidate Number Five— in the Justice Department’s investigation of the then-Illinois governor. Blagojevich, who has since been impeached and removed from office, is accused of trying to sell President Barack Obama’s then-vacant Senate seat to the highest bidder.