According to the New York Times:

WASHINGTON — Federal authorities on Wednesday identified Democratic Representative Jesse Jackson Jr. of Illinois as the potential United States Senate candidate who was portrayed in court papers made public Tuesday as being the most deeply enmeshed in the alleged scheme by Gov. Rod Blagojevich to benefit from his appointment of a new senator to the seat vacated by President-elect Barack Obama.

Mr. Jackson said in an interview with ABC News that he did not know whether he was the anonymous Candidate 5 mentioned by federal prosecutors in the affidavit supporting their criminal complaint against Mr. Blagojevich. He said that the prosecutors in Chicago told him he was not a target of the criminal inquiry. But he said they had asked him to answer questions about the selection process by Mr. Blagojevich to fill the seat.

Mr. Jackson, who has publicly sought the appointment, said he met with Mr. Blagojevich to discuss the job for the first time earlier this week, after not having spoken to him for more than four years. Mr. Jackson said he never authorized anyone to offer anything in return for the appointment. Mr. Jackson, the son of the civil rights leader, was first named by ABC News as the person identified in the criminal complaint as Candidate 5.

It’s not clear what Jackson knew when, but if he was a party to the scheme to auction off Obama’s seat he’s right up their with Blago as committing one of the dumbest unforced errors ever.

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