Considering that the Chicago NBC affiliated reported on election night — apparently with a straight face — that “Jesse Jackson Jr. Wins Reelection From Mayo Clinic,”* today’s news isn’t exactly a shock:
Jackson’s resignation comes amid an FBI investigation into his alleged misuse of campaign funds. The congressman is reportedly in negotiations with the federal government over a plea deal that could include jail time. Jackson has also been struggling with his health. He spent four weeks at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota over the summer in treatment for bipolar depression and acknowledged last month that is “not well.”
In spite of his problems, Jackson won re-election in Illinois’ second district, which he’s represented since 1995, with 63 percent of the vote. He has not, however, made any public appearances or returned to his Capitol Hill office since Election Day. The congressman was supposed to have a conference call with his staff earlier today, but it was reportedly cancelled.
The FBI investigation has been looking at Jackson’s alleged use of campaign funds to decorate his home and to buy a $40,000 Rolex watch for a female friend. The investigation into misused campaign funds has now expanded to include Jackson’s wife, Chicago Alderman Sandi Jackson, according to reports. Investigators are scrutinizing whether Mrs. Jackson was aware of or complicit in her husband’s alleged misuse of campaign money. Investigators have not yet indicated whether they plan to charge Sandi Jackson.
* Now there’s a modified limited hangout.