Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.'s scheduled interview with federal agents and prosecutors in the Illinois corruption scandal has been delayed because "they have a traffic jam of people," the Congressman told ABCNews.com this morning.
Jackson Jr. has been identified by federal authorities as Senate Candidate 5, who, according to an FBI affidavit, was being considered by Governor Rod Blagojevich
because the Governor believed emissaries of Jackson Jr. had promised to raise $1.5 million in exchange for the Senate seat.
The Chicago Tribune today identified a group of Indian-American businessmen, led by Raghuveer Nayak, whom the paper said organized a fund raiser for the Governor as part of the effort to get Jackson Jr. the Senate appointment. Jackson Jr.'s brother, Jonathon, attended the luncheon along with the Governor, the Tribune said.
The fundraiser was held on October 31, the same date the FBI says Blagojevich is later overheard saying, "We were approached 'pay to play.' That you know, he'd raise me 500 grand. An emissary came. Then the other guy would raise a million, if I made Senate Candidate 5 a Senator."
Nayak did not respond to requests for comment from ABCNews.com.
Rep. Jackson Jr. today described Nayak as "a decent man, I like him very much." But he said Nayak, "nor anyone is authorized to have a conversation with the Governor on my behalf."
Asked whether his brother or father were involved, Jackson said, "anything that they did obviously on the right side of the justice system was welcomed by me."
On Wednesday, after ABCNews.com first identified him as Senate Candidate 5, Jackson said, "It is impossible for someone on my behalf to have a conversation that would suggest any type of quid pro quo or any payments or offers."
His statement today is less categorical, indicating that anyone who did have such a conversation was "not authorized" to do so.
Jackson says he has been informed he is "not a target" of this investigation and intends to cooperate "fully."
He said he did not know when he would be interviewed by federal agents.