Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D-IL) has apparently been on medical leave for the past two weeks due to extreme exhaustion. The information was released in a statement his office put out Monday, which indicated he had been on medical leave since June 10.
The beleaguered congressman is currently under investigation by the House Ethics Committee for using campaign funds to purchase roundtrip airfare for his mistress to travel to Chicago. He’s also being reexamined for his connection to the Illinois U.S. Senate seat Gov. Rod Blagojevich attempted to sell. The Chicago Tribune reports:
Just last week, a longtime friend of Jackson’s, Raghuveer Nayak, was arrested on federal fraud charges involving Nayak’s surgical centers. Nayak was at the center of the U.S. Senate seat scandal that sent former Gov. Rod Blagojevich to prison.
Jackson, 47, who has distanced himself from Nayak, remains under a House Ethics Committee investigation into allegations that Nayak offered Blagojevich up to $6 million in campaign cash to make the congressman President Barack Obama’s successor in the U.S. Senate.
Nayak had told federal investigators that Jackson asked him to raise campaign money for Blagojevich in hopes the then-governor would appoint Jackson to the seat, sources familiar with the investigation have told the Tribune. Jackson has denied any knowledge of fundraising in exchange for the appointment and has said he expects to be vindicated by the ethics panel.
Jackson also has said he did not violate House ethics rules when he had Nayak buy a plane ticket for a woman with whom the congressman had a secret relationship. Jackson has referred to that as a “private and personal matter.”
Despite his medical leave of absense, Jackson’s twitter account has remained active.
This isn’t the first time Jackson’s health issues have been disclosed with some delay. In 2005, Jackson underwent weight-surgery, which was revealed weeks after the fact. It also isn’t the first time he’s been treated for exhaustion.
Jackson, up for reelection this year, is being challenged by Republican Brian Woodworth.