- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 5, 2012

Rep. Jesse L. Jackson Jr., who took a leave of absence from his congressional work last month because of exhaustion, is in worse medical shape than first realized and will receive extended medical help.

A statement released by the nine-term Illinois Democrat’s office Thursday said Mr. Jackson is undergoing further evaluation and treatment at an in-patient medical facility per doctors’ wishes.

Congressman Jackson’s medical condition is more serious than we thought and initially believed,” the statement said. “Recently, we have been made aware that he has grappled with certain physical and emotional ailments privately for a long period of time.

“We ask that you keep Congressman Jackson and his family in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult period.”

His office didn’t disclose his location or provide details of his medical condition.

The news baffled congressional colleagues who noted Mr. Jackson’s absence on the House floor in previous weeks. Several have said they have not heard from him or seen him.

“No one has a clue,” said Rep. Mike Quigley, a fellow Illinois Democrat. “There is concern among his colleagues … Anybody there could understand that. It’s a stressful occupation.”

While on his leave last week Mr. Jackson applauded the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold most of President Obama’s health-care law in a statement issued by the Rainbow PUSH Coalition founded by his father, former Democratic presidential-primary candidate Jesse Jackson.

The younger Mr. Jackson, 47, defeated a primary challenge this year despite facing a House ethics investigation that stems from reports that he was involved in discussions about raising money for then-Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s campaign in exchange for Mr. Blagojevich appointing him to Mr. Obama’s former U.S. Senate seat.

The former governor in 2011 was sentenced to 14 years in prison on charges connected to the Obama seat.

Mr. Jackson also is accused of directing fundraiser and longtime friend Raghuveer Nayak to buy plane tickets for a woman described as Mr. Jackson’s “social acquaintance.” The congressman has called it a personal matter that he has dealt with privately with his wife, Chicago Alderman Sandi Jackson.

At Mr. Blagojevich’s first corruption trial in 2010, prosecutors said another Blagojevich fundraiser was ready to testify that Mr. Jackson instructed Mr. Nayak to raise money for Mr. Blagojevich’s campaign to help him secure the Senate seat.

Mr. Jackson has not been charged and has denied any wrongdoing.

He has served Chicago’s South Side and some neighboring suburbs since 1995.

This article is based in part on wire service reports.

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

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