Jesse Jackson Jr. resigns from Congress

3:39 PM, Nov 21, 2012   |    comments
US Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr., D-IL, speaks to reporters following a Democratic Caucus on August 1, 2011 at the US Capitol in Washington, DC. (Getty Images)
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WASHINGTON -- Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr., D-Ill., resigned from Congress on Wednesday following a prolonged treatment for mental health issues.

An aide to House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, told NBC News that the speaker's office had received a letter this afternoon from the Illinois congressman resigning from Congress.

The son of the Rev. Jesse Jackson, the civil rights leader, Jackson, Jr. had sought treatment for bipolar depression at the Mayo Clinic for much of the past summer and fall. His last vote in Congress was on June 10, and his mysterious disappearance from official duties prompted speculation about the reason for the Democratic congressman's prolonged absence.

Jackson was first elected to Congress in 1995 in a Chicago-area district's special election, and had won re-election to eight full terms since then. He won re-election just 15 days ago by a 40-point margin in the heavily Democratic district.

Amid his battles against mental illness, Jackson has also been embroiled in ethics allegations, which prompted the congressman to reportedly hire an attorney in recent weeks. In particular, Jackson's efforts to convince then-Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich to appoint him as Barack Obama's successor in the Senate have drawn scrutiny. Blagojevich, a Democrat, was subsequently convicted of having sought favors and donations in exchange for the appointment.

(NBC News)

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