Emanuel: Jackson Jr. should address voters amid reported plea talks

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel (D) on Monday said Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.) should address his constituents and explain whether he’ll be able to work as a member of the House next year.

“With the election over, there are big issues coming up in the lame-duck session,” Emanuel said, according to NBC Chicago. “I think Congressman Jackson, it’s incumbent upon him to have a conversation with his constituents about his intentions.”

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Emanuel’s remarks come after reports last weekend said that Jackson is negotiating a plea deal that would require him to resign from Congress and possibly spend time in jail. 

The congressman is under investigation by the Justice Department and FBI for illegally using campaign funds to decorate his home and buy a $40,000 watch for a female friend, according to CBS Chicago.

The plea deal reportedly would allow Jackson to resign for health reasons and force him to repay the campaign money that he used for personal reasons.

Jackson has been missing from Capitol Hill since June, when he reportedly left to be treated for bipolar disorder. He returned to Washington for a short time in October, before being readmitted to the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, where he is receiving treatment.

Jackson won reelection easily last week, by a 63-to-23 percent margin, despite not campaigning.