Another of Judicial Watch’s “Ten Most Wanted” corrupt politicians is now out of Congress – Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. He now joins a list that includes former Reps. Laura Richardson (D-CA), Barney Frank (D-MA), Tom Delay (R-TX), former Senators John Ensign (R-NV) and John Edwards (D-NC), to name just a few Top Ten alumni no longer in power.
Per the New Jersey Star Ledger:
The once-promising political career of Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. came to a crashing end Wednesday, when the Illinois Democrat announced he would resign his seat in Congress immediately amid treatment for mental illness, stories of marital infidelity and a pair of federal investigations.
The Illinois Democrat, the son of the civil rights icon the Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr., has been absent from the House since June 10, when he cast his last vote and then disappeared from public view, only to emerge later under treatment for bipolar disorder.
Jackson Jr., 47, has been under federal investigation for alleged campaign finance improprieties, including reportedly using donor dollars to remodel his home and purchase personal gifts, a potential criminal violation.
Jackson acknowledged in his resignation letter that he made his “share of mistakes.” That’s certainly true. And here’s just one of his alleged “mistakes” currently under investigation to add to the list cited above.
Jackson was one of the major figures implicated in the massive scandal involving disgraced former Illinois Governor Rod “Blago” Blagojevich, who was brought to justice in 2011 for a number of crimes, including his efforts to “sell” President Obama’s vacant Senate seat to the highest bidder.
The evidence suggests Jackson was one of those bidders.
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, “Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. directed a major political fund-raiser to offer former Gov. Rod Blagojevich millions of dollars in campaign cash in return for an appointment to the U.S. Senate.”
How much cash?
The Sun-Times gave a figure of $1.5 million in its initial reports. But according to Jackson’s fundraiser, Raghuveer Nayak, the Illinois Congressman asked him to offer not $1.5 million but a whopping $6 million in campaign cash to Blagojevich to secure the Senate seat.
In 2010 Jackson was also nailed for conducting an improper and potentially criminal relationship with a female “social acquaintance.” Nayak told investigators that Jackson asked him to pay to fly a Washington, DC restaurant hostess named Giovana Huidobro to Chicago to visit him. Nayak reportedly did so twice.
In addition to the federal probes, the House Ethics Committee continues to investigate the Blagojevich matter. In 2011, the committee released an initial report from the Office of Congressional Ethics that said there was “probable cause” to believe that Jackson either directed a third party or had knowledge of a third party’s effort to convince the since-convicted Blagojevich to appoint Jackson in exchange for campaign cash.
Because Jackson refused to resign before the November elections, Illinois taxpayers will now be faced with costs of a special election, estimated at $5.1 million.
So let the mad scramble begin! The Associated Press noted the list of would-be replacements has swelled to a dozen or so names. Among them is former defense attorney who represented the convicted felon Rod Blagojevich. Another name being floated—Jackson Jr.’s brother, Jonathan Jackson, who, along with Jesse Jackson Sr., was sued by Judicial Watch on behalf of JW client Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson over an alleged assault.
The Chicago Way in motion once again!