Report: Feds probe Rep. Jackson Jr. over use of campaign funds

Federal investigators are probing allegations that Democratic Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (Ill.) illegally used campaign funds to redecorate his house, according to a media report.


The Wall Street Journal reported Monday that the FBI and U.S. attorney’s office in Washington, D.C., have spearheaded the inquiry and are close to completing their investigation. The report says that Jackson’s attorneys requested that authorities not seek an indictment before the election, a call that Justice Department officials rejected. 

The report said that neither Jackson’s spokesman nor his lawyer would comment on the matter.

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The probe is separate from another inquiry by the U.S. attorney’s office in Washington into former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s (D) attempt to sell President Obama’s former Senate seat. Jackson has denied wrongdoing in that matter.  

The criminal probe into misused campaign funds was launched before Jackson’s resent absence from Capitol Hill for health-related reasons. Jackson left Washington in mid-June and revealed two months later that he was being treated for bipolar disorder at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. 

The nine-term lawmaker returned to Washington in September and is seeking reelection for a 10th term. But he has not appeared on Capitol Hill or campaigned in his district. 

His prolonged absence and low profile since his return might have cost him an endorsement from the Chicago Tribune, influential in his district. The paper last week said it would prefer to endorse him in his race against GOP challenger Brian Woodworth, but that it was an “open-ended question” if Jackson would ever be able to return to Congress. 

Jackson is on the ballot and expected to win in his heavily Democratic district. 

Last month, Jackson also put up his Washington home for sale, saying he needed to raise money to pay for his continued healthcare treatment. Jackson’s home, a four-bedroom rowhouse in Dupont Circle, is listed for $2.5 million. It is uncertain if that property is the subject of the reported federal probe.