As if Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. doesn't already have enough to worry about, he's now facing a federal probe into whether he improperly used campaign funds to decorate his home. The Wall Street Journal has reported that the FBI and U.S. Attorneys office in Washington, D.C., have launched an investigation into the alleged misuse of funds. It also says that the Justice Department rejected a request from Jackson's attorneys to not seek an indictment until after the Nov. 6 election.
The Chicago lawmaker has been missing in action on Capitol Hill since June, but weeks passed before his office announced he was seeking treatment for bipolar disorder. He left the Mayo Clinic in early September and returned to his home in Washington but has kept out of the public eye. In addition, his D.C. home has been put up for sale for $2.5 million to help pay for his ongoing medical treatment.
Jackson is still under investigation for allegedly trying to buy the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Barack Obama in 2008, but has denied any wrongdoing in the matter. This latest probe began before he disappeared in June. Spokesman Frank Watkins told NBC Chicago that he learned about it from a newspaper report.
The congressman is heavily favored to win re-election to his House seat in November. But his prolonged absence may have cost him the endorsement from the influential Chicago Tribune because, the publication said, Jackson's return to Congress is an "open-ended question."
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(Photo: Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call)