Embattled Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D-IL), fresh from a bruising primary battle this spring, has taken medical leave for “exhaustion”–one week after a key former associate was arrested by federal law enforcement officials for fraud.
The fundraiser, Raghuveer Nayak, was the key to allegations that Jackson was prepared to arrange a payoff in 2008 to then-Gov. Rod Blagojevich in exchange for being appointed to the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by President-elect Barack Obama, according to the Chicago Sun-Times:
For the last several years, Nayak has been the aching thorn in Jackson’s side after Blagojevich was heard on tape saying that Jackson’s emissary — Nayak — offered what Blagojevich believed was a $1.5 million offer in exchange for the Senate seat that was about to be vacated by Barack Obama following his 2008 election as president.
Jackson has repeatedly and vehemently denied he authorized anyone to approach Blagojevich on his behalf. Jackson has not been charged in the probe.
The recent arrest is unrelated to that controversy, and Jackson’s lawyer has denied any connection between Nayak’s arrest and Jackson’s leave.
Photo credit: Lesley University