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December 10, 2008

Kirk predicts Jackson indictment

Rep. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) is talking tough in an appearance on FOX News this afternoon, telling the network that he believes Candidate #5 -- later revealed to be Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. -- "will be indicted."

QUESTION: OK. So you say -- you say his career is history. But everyone wants to know what is going to happen to Barack Obama ’s Senate seat. He still has the ability to appoint that position. What -- what happens next?

KIRK: He does. But if he makes any sort of emergency appointment, that person will be fatally flawed. I already suspect that the Senate candidate number five, a person mentioned in the criminal complaint, will be indicted as well. And so, there is now a discussion of a special election. The Illinois General Assembly...

QUESTION: Let’s back up for one second. You mentioned that the candidate number five, and those were all laid out in the documents that we received yesterday -- a lot of speculation as to who that is. Have you heard who that person is?

KIRK: No. But it’s clear that there was an attempted bribery made. And I think that what we saw yesterday is only the start of a number of arrests and indictments coming, people who are connected to or dealt with Governor Blagojevich on the phone.

In an interview with ABC News, Jackson said that prosecutors told him earlier this week that he was not a target of the criminal inquiry. And at a press conference this afternoon, Jackson denied any wrongdoing and said he wasn't aware of anyone attempting to cut deals on his behalf.

Kirk is one of the leading Republicans who is considering a run for the Senate seat, if a special election is held.  A naval officer, Kirk has no ties to Springfield or the Chicago political machine. And he’s a formidable fundraiser, raising over $5 million for his House seat this cycle.