Jackson says he met for 90 minutes with the governor Monday and made his case for the Senate appointment -- on his record alone. Jackson emphasized that he was not solicited by the governor for a bribe, nor was any emissary ever authorized to offer the governor anything.
Jackson's lawyer backs him up, but says that some supporter, without Jackson's knowledge, might have freelanced on his own.
There are other puzzling questions.
Why, if Fitzgerald was listening to the wiretaps and laying his trap for the governor and corrupt politicians interested in buying a U.S. Senate seat, did he abort the operation with his 6 a.m. arrests of Blagojevich and his chief of staff? Why spring the trap when the mouse is just outside, mulling over whether to go for the cheese?
Why not let the plot unfold? Why not let the corrupt bidder for a Senate seat make a solid offer and bring in his or her down payment? Why not wait for the felony to be committed instead of acting while it was still being considered and discussed?
This one is not going away soon.
Forty-eight hours into the scandal, we have a governor and chief of staff arrested in their homes for attempting to sell the U.S. Senate seat of the 44th president of the United States. And one of the most famous names in politics, Jesse Jackson Jr., has hired a lawyer and been placed under a cloud of suspicion that some benefactor tried to buy him the Senate seat he coveted.
No one is yet convicted of anything. But if this scandal touches any member of Obama's White House staff, who may have spoken with Blagojevich and listened to his solicitation of a bribe without reporting it, we are going to have a new special prosecutor in Washington, D.C.
Indeed, the U.S. Senate should probably make the confirmation of Eric Holder as attorney general, the Clintonite who midwifed the pardons of Marc Rich and the Puerto Rican terrorists, contingent on his naming an independent counsel in the Senategate scandal.
As for the Bush-to-Barack transition, which Americans have applauded as graceful and uplifting, it is now mired in mud.
Yes, indeed, it is -- a sad day for America.