Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Report: Jackson, Jr. Tipped Off About Federal Probe Before Becoming Mentally Ill

This should come as no surprise. The Sun-Times reports that former Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D-IL) received a tip last June shortly before he went on leave from Congress, claiming to be suffering from a mental illness, that he was under investigation by the FBI for misappropriating campaign funds. The Sun-Times couldn't confirm if the tip came from someone involved in the federal investigation; however, Jackson was also involved in the investigation of the attempt by former Gov. Rod Blagojevich to sell the Senate seat of Barack Obama shortly after his election in 2008. In that case, then-U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald tipped off reporters for the Chicago Tribune according to a new book on the Blagojevich crime spree, "Golden," who then revealed that the governor's telephone conversations had been wiretapped. The working theory is that Fitzgerald wanted to protect the newly-elected President and his close advisers, including Rahm Emanuel and Valerie Jarrett, from being implicated in the scheme. Fitzgerald's investigation ignored evidence offered by witnesses that Obama had accepted bribes from convicted political fixer Tony Rezko.

Jackson stopped showing up for work on June 10. After weeks of speculation, his staff finally confirmed he had checked himself into the Mayo Clinic for treatment of a purported mental illness. His office later claimed he had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, the mental disorder of choice for people who don't want to accept responsibility for their bad acts. Jackson never appeared publicly again after that point, although he was spotted having drinks with friends in a Washington bar in the weeks prior to the November election. Despite his leave from his job and his failure to campaign for re-election, voters in his district re-elected him by a landslide only to learn a couple of weeks after his re-election that he was resigning his seat amidst rumors he may enter into a plea agreement in connection with the federal investigation. Jackson's use of campaign funds on a Washington mistress, personal furnishings for his home and consulting payments to his wife, a Chicago alderman, is what has reportedly drawn the scrutiny of federal investigators.

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