Judicial Watch • Jesse Jackson Jr.

Jesse Jackson Jr. Archives | Judicial Watch

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.

 

Here is a story that demonstrates politicians are getting quite creative when it comes to defending transgressions; an Ohio congresswoman believes a fellow lawmaker convicted of a felony should receive leniency because he’s “charming” and “entertaining.”

This includes being the highlight of “karaoke nights” during burdensome congressional sessions, “when things got tough or extremely difficult on the House floor.” The corrupt congressman, Jesse Jackson Jr., pleaded guilty to fraud earlier this year for illegally using $750,000 in campaign money to finance his lavish lifestyle. He hasn’t been sentenced and his buddies in Congress are trying to help him out by appealing to the federal judge that will determine how much time he serves.

This particular request for leniency in Jackson’s sentencing comes from Congresswoman Marcia Fudge, a Cleveland Democrat who chairs the Congressional Black Caucus. In a letter to U.S. District Court Judge Robert Wilkins Fudge describes Jackson Jr. as “highly intelligent” and reminisces about the disgraced lawmaker’s karaoke skills and one-man skits. “He made us realize that we could still have fun while addressing important national issues,” Fudge writes.  

The congresswoman also tells the judge that Jackson Jr. is a “tireless advocate for the poor and underserved” who is known for his efforts to redevelop decaying neighborhoods. In short, Fudge claims Jackson Jr. is a “loyal public servant with so much more to give” and she humbly tells the judge that “Jesse is worth saving and I know he can continue to have a positive impact on the lives of others as he has with my colleagues and me.”

Here is a more accurate version of this not so loyal public servant, whose many transgressions landed him on Judicial Watch’s list of Washington’s Ten Most Wanted Corrupt Politicians. Before getting busted for illegally financing his extravagant lifestyle with campaign money, Jackson Jr. was embroiled in a massive political scandal for attempting to bribe his way into the U.S. Senate.

The brazen scheme was exposed during the corruption trial and retrial of convicted Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, who is serving a 14-year sentence in Colorado. JW covered both trials live in a Chicago federal court where major political drama that reached all the way up to the White House unfolded daily.

According to court testimony, Jackson Jr., who represented the Chicago area in the U.S. House for nearly two decades, and his top fundraiser offered to buy the Illinois seat that opened up in the U.S. Senate when Barack Obama got elected president. The son of the world-renowned “civil rights” con man met with the disgraced ex governor’s representative in late 2008 and offered to pay $1 million in exchange for the appointment, which was to be made by the governor.

Could it be that Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr., a member of Judicial Watch’s Ten Most Wanted Corrupt Politicians list, is suddenly suffering from a “mood disorder” because he’s on the verge of getting criminally indicted?

After all, the feds have been breathing down the Illinois Democrat’s neck—and he’s 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 of impeached/convicted Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich. Jackson attended a 2008 meeting in which his top fundraiser (recently arrested in a separate bribery scheme) tried to by him the Senate seat vacated when Obama got elected president, according to court testimony.

For months Jackson refused to comment on the powwow, which took place at a Chicago restaurant and was also attended by a Blagojevich representative and prominent Democratic fundraiser and Chicago businessman Raghuveer Nayak. Just days before Jackson took medical leave Nayak was arrested by the FBI on charges of paying hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes to doctors.

Maybe that put Jackson over the edge. After all, Nayak offered Blagojevich, now in prison, $1 million to appoint Jackson senator, according to testimony delivered at both of Blagojevich’s corruption trials in Chicago. As governor Blagojevich was charged with filling the Senate seat and he tried to sell it to the highest bidder. 

With so many witnesses spilling the beans, Jackson eventually admitted that he was physically present at the meeting but had no idea what was going on because the plot went down in a foreign language. The prominent group of Indian Americans who offered to bribe the governor on his behalf spoke in a language he didn’t understand, possibly Hindi, Jackson later explained to his constituents.  

If that’s Camp Jackson’s best defense, you can see how it could possibly trigger a personal/emotional crisis for the politician. About a month ago he vanished and his office took nearly two weeks to reveal that 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 going to return anytime in the near future. 

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.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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