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Jackson: "I Am Not A Target Of This Investigation"

Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. says he is "not a target of this investigation," and portrayed himself as completely duped by disgraced Gov. Rod Blagojevich in his efforts to win appointment to Barack Obama's Senate seat.

In an emotional yet forceful speech in a Capitol press room, Jackson said he merely laid out his qualifications and his record to Blagojevich in a Monday meeting in Chicago, adding that he was "appalled" at the "pay for play" scandal surrounding Obama's Senate seat.

"I thought mistakenly I had a chance" at the Senate seat, Jackson said. "I did not know this process had been corrupted."

Merely by being the so-called "Senate Candidate 5" in the Blagojevich indictment, Jackson's shot at the seat is tainted, but he did not back down, insisting that he has the most seniority of virtually any other Democrat in the Illinois House delegation and he has the record and qualifications to take the seat.

Yet Jackson has hired a Chicago lawyer and said he would take no questions from the press.

"I want to make this fact plain," Jackson said. "I have no involvement in any wrongdoing."

Jackson added that he "never sent any message or any emissary to the governor" to discuss the alleged $500,000 in campaign donations that Blagojevich was demanding from "Senate Candidate 5."

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