by Rachel Rose Hartman, Yahoo! News, The Ticket
Jesse Jackson Jr. resigned his seat in Congress on Wednesday after an extended leave of absence and news of a widening federal probe into the alleged misuse of campaign funds.
House Speaker John Boehner’s office confirmed to multiple media outlets that Jackson’s resignation letter had been received.
News outlets reported on Wednesday morning that the Illinois Democrat had canceled a morning conference call with staff for fear of media eavesdropping. Then Jonathan Jackson, Jackson’s brother, told the Chicago Tribune a resignation was imminent.
Jesse Jackson’s office didn’t immediately respond to Yahoo News’ request for comment on Wednesday.
This summer, Jackson abruptly dropped out of the public eye. His staff first reported the congressman, son of the Rev. Jesse Jackson, had been on a leave of absence for exhaustion and then indicated his condition was more serious. After pressure from colleagues and others, it was revealed Jackson was being treated at the Mayo Clinic for bipolar disorder and gastrointestinal issues.
Jackson left the clinic in September but returned the following month. He was reportedly at the clinic on Nov. 6, when he easily won re-election in his Democratic district in suburban Chicago.
Recent reports indicate that a federal probe into an alleged misuse of campaign funds has widened. Some sources have suggested Jackson’s resignation would be part of a plea deal.
The timing of Jackson’s resignation means he will not be sworn in for the new term beginning in January. A special election will be held for his seat.
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