Reporting Jay Levine
CHICAGO (CBS) – Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. remains out of the public eye for now. It’s been months since he was last at work on Capitol Hill, after taking a leave of absence attributed to treatment for Bipolar II disorder.
He’s only talked publicly once, in a brief interview with “The Daily,” in which he said he’s “not well,” and is seeing doctors twice a day.
Meantime, he’s under new federal scrutiny, with federal investigators looking into his campaign finances.
And CBS 2 has learned the congressman’s campaign finance reports do not provide details for hundreds of thousands of dollars in credit card charges, or for an $8,000 purchase from a suburban furniture store. That, amid reports the federal probe is focused on alleged misuse of campaign cash to redecorate his home.
CBS 2 Chief Correspondent Jay Levine tried to track down Jackson and his family in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday.
Jackson received two visitors at his home in the upscale DuPont Circle section of Washington, D.C.
The visitors stayed about an hour and, when they left, they declined to say who they were.
CBS 2 also rang the bell at the Jackson home – after contacting the congressman’s wife, Ald. Sandi Jackson (7th) – but no one answered the door.
Earlier this week, the congressman spoke briefly with a reporter for the news website “The Daily,” but he did not discuss the current federal investigation, which reportedly focuses on alleged misuse of campaign funds for personal expenses.
CBS 2 learned Wednesday that federal campaign finance reports – which usually include an explanation of any charges to the campaign fund – do not do so in Jackson’ case.
Jackson’s campaign reports include $274,250 in American Express charges over the past two years. Normally, those charges are itemized, but are not explained on Jackson’s campaign finance reports.
Should authorities ask, the Jackson campaign would have to come up with all the individual bills for those charges.
Campaign records also indicate the Jackson campaign paid $8,000 to an office furniture store in Downers Grove. The owner told the Chicago Tribune the FBI plans to subpoena records of furniture purchases by Jackson’s campaign.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the federal probe of Jackson’s campaign fund is focused on alleged misuse of campaign cash to redecorate his home.
Neither Jackson nor his attorneys have made any comment about the federal investigation.
At this point, it’s looking less and less likely that he’ll return to work, or to the campaign trail, before the election.
But it’s hard to tell what will happen next for Jackson, or even who will make the decision. He’s had little, if any, contact with longtime trusted aides and advisers since taking a leave of absence to be treated for Bipolar II disorder. And, with the exception of his wife, not even Jackson family members are totally plugged in as to what will happen next.