Jesse Jackson Jr.’s Finances
The Chicago Sun-Times
The snowballing troubles of Jesse Jackson Jr. took a new turn Friday with the revelation that federal investigators have launched a probe into “suspicious activity” in the South Shore congessman’s finances.
Focusing on a completely new area of scrutiny for the son of the famed civil rights leader, the investigation is not related to former Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s attempted sale of a US Senate seat, a scandal that has ensnared Jackson in the past, sources told the Chicago Sun-Times.
Rather, the probe -- based in the Washington, D.C., FBI field office -- is focusing on “suspicious activity” involving the congressman’s finances related to his House seat and the possibility of inappropriate expenditures, the sources said.
The probe was active in the weeks prior to Jackson taking a leave from his US House seat on June 10, a leave his office ultimately attributed to his need for treatment for bipolar disorder, the sources said.
It was unclear whether the investigation involved the congressman’s official House spending account or his campaign finance account. But one source said it was an account monitored by Congress.
All members of the US House receive an allowance to operate offices in Washington and in their districts. The allowances for rank-and-file members ranged from $1.4 million to $2 million in 2010, according to the House website.
Jackson’s congressional spokesman Frank Watkins said he was unaware of any investigation, had no comment and had no immediate way to get a hold of the congressman.
One of Jackson’s attorney’s, Paul Langer, repeatedly said “no comment,” when asked whether Jackson was under investigation related to his finances. When asked if he was still representing Jackson or if the congressman had retained another attorney, Langer said: “I can’t even comment on that.”
News of the probe -- first disclosed by the Sun-Times -- comes as questions increasingly swirl around Jackson’s absence from not only his official duties in Washington, but the campaign trail as the Nov. 6 election nears.
Citing exhaustion, Jackson, 47, stopped working, according to his staff, on June 10. His staff did not make that known until two weeks later.
He went to a clinic in Arizona then to the Mayo Clinic, which released a statement saying he was being treated for a bipolar disorder. Jackson is up for re-election Nov. 6 but has not campaigned since he won the Democratic primary in March.
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