AUGUST 15, 2013
Although disgraced Illinois Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. suddenly developed a “mood disorder” as the feds were about to indict him, he qualifies for generous government disability payments because it’s considered a debilitating mental illness.
Of interesting note is that Jackson Jr., sentenced this week to 2 ½ years in prison for corruption, never showed any symptoms of a “mood disorder” during his 17 years as a federal lawmaker. The mental illness surfaced abruptly last summer as the congressman, a member of Judicial Watch’s Ten Most Wanted Corrupt Politicians list, was about to get criminally charged.
The feds had been breathing down the Illinois Democrat’s neck—and he was the target of a House Ethics Committee probe—for participating in a political scandal involving President Obama’s old U.S. Senate seat. Details first surfaced during the 2010 federal corruption trial (covered live in Chicago by Judicial Watch) of impeached/convicted Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich. Jackson attended a 2008 meeting in which his top fundraiser (arrested in a separate bribery scheme) tried to buy him the Senate seat vacated when Obama got elected president, according to court testimony.
But that’s not even what Jackson Jr. is going to jail for. In fact, he’s getting off real easy serving just 30 months for illegally using campaign funds as his “personal piggy bank,” according to the federal judge who sentenced him this week. The former congressman spent around $750,000 in campaign cash on outrageous luxury items like celebrity memorabilia, mounted elk heads, fancy jewelry and cashmere caps.
Junior’s wife, Sandi, a former Chicago City Councilwoman, is also going to jail for falsifying tax returns to cover up the illicit operation. They were sentenced on the same day, how special. With both parents going to the slammer, who knows what will happen to the Jacksons’ young children. A Chicago newspaper summed it up best in this headline: “Jesse Jackson Jr. and wife Sandi: From power couple to prison inmates.”
Let’s return to Jackson Jr.’s convenient mental illness. It all started during a circus-like event last summer. The congressman vanished for about two weeks amid a looming criminal indictment before his office revealed he was on medical leave for “exhaustion.” A few weeks later, Democratic leaders in Congress pressured Jackson’s staff for more information since it became obvious he wasn’t returning.
The response: Jackson’s condition was worse than originally thought and required him to be hospitalized for emotional problems. After much speculation from various media outlets, Jackson’s doctor issued a statement saying: “The Congressman is receiving intensive medical treatment at a residential treatment facility for a mood disorder. He is responding positively to treatment and is expected to make a full recovery.”
The late onset of what we now knows is a debilitating mental illness makes Junior eligible to get $8,700 per month in government disability pay, according to a news report that also says the slammer-bound politician can get a partial federal pension of $45,000 despite his transgressions. So what does Junior’s dad, the world-renowned civil rights con man, have to say about all this? The Reverend Jesse Jackson says his son has been very sick and is still in recovery. “This time a year ago I thought we may have lost him,” the senior Jackson wrote in a letter to the court.
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