There is something very suspicious going on with Jesse Jackson Jr. Jackson's absence from his Congressional post has been shrouded in secrecy, and the announcement that he is suffering from a "mood disorder," hardly cleared things up.
Leaders in Congress requested further explanation of his reported "medical leave," prompting Jackson's office to release a brief statement Wednesday (July 11). "The Congressman is receiving intensive medical treatment at a residential treatment facility for a mood disorder," read the statement. " He is responding positively to treatment and is expected to make a full recovery." However no information as to where he is being treated, or the name of his doctor has been revealed.
Jackson's chief of staff, Rick Bryant, also denied rumors that the 47-year-old is in rehab for drug or alcohol abuse. His office reiterated their disposition, stating that Jackson is entitled to privacy under federal law.
Not long after the statement was released, Jackson's father, Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. told a local Chicago television station that he would not be releasing more info on his son's condition, but fellow Illinois Democrats are far from satisfied. "As a public official ... there reaches a point when you have a responsibility to tell people what you're facing and how things are going," said Democratic U.S. Senator Richard Durbin this week.
Although he began his medical leave in late June, Jackson's office did not make an announcement until two weeks later, first explaining that he was being treated for exhaustion. The change in the story, and the broad term used to describe his alleged ailments deepened speculation of a potential cover up. Some believe that Jackson's reported "mood disorder," is actually depression, and the timing of his leave cannot be overlooked. Jackson is the subject of an ethics investigation stemming from his ties to former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich who was imprisoned for trying to sell President Obama's U.S. Senate seat. In 2008, Jackson's friend and Chicago businessman Raghuveer Nayak, was accused of trying to bribe Blagojevich into placing Jackson in Obama's vacant seat. Last month, Nayak was arrested by the FBI, on a laundry list of charges including paying for bribes, and writing them off on his taxes.
While Jackson admitted to lobbying to take over Obama's' Senate position, he claimed to have no knowledge of a bribe.