Jesse Jackson Jr., Democratic congressman from Illinois and son of the “civil rights” agitator, has resigned his House seat, citing ill health and an ongoing federal investigation for what Jackson referred to as “my share of mistakes.” While the investigation reportedly involves the misuse of campaign funds, “Jackson was also under a House Ethics Committee investigation over dealings with imprisoned ex-Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich,” reported the Associated Press. Although the committee could still release a report into its findings, Jackson's resignation will prevent Congress from taking any action against him should it be revealed that he committed any wrongdoing.
On November 21, two weeks after his Illinois constituents elected him to a ninth congressional term, Jackson sent a letter to House Speaker John Boehner tendering his resignation, citing his ongoing treatment for bipolar disorder, as well as the federal probe. While thus far the 47-year-old Jackson has not been charged with any wrongdoing, in his letter to the House Speaker he wrote that “I am doing my best to address this situation responsibly, cooperate with the investigators, and accept responsibility for my mistakes, for they are my mistakes and mine alone.”
The resignation prompted a statement from Jackson's attorneys, who confirmed that their client was cooperating with the federal probe. “We hope to negotiate a fair resolution of the matter,” read a prepared statement, “but the process could take several months. During that time, we will have no further comment and urge you to give Mr. Jackson the privacy he needs to heal and handle these issues responsibly.”
Legal experts said Jackson's resignation most likely came as the result of mounting evidence against the liberal Democratic congressman. “I think it won't be too long before we hear an announcement of a plea agreement,” Bruce Reinhart, a white-collar defense lawyer and former federal prosecutor, told the AP. “The government doesn't like people who are going to plead guilty to abusing public office to remain in a position of public trust.... Resignation would be a significant bargaining chip for Congressman Jackson in order to get a better deal from the government.”
Click here to read the entire article.
Photo of Jesse Jackson Jr.: AP Images