He won big on Election Night without even campaigning, but now Illinois Democratic Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr. has turned his leave of absence into a resignation.
FOX News Radio's Jennifer Keiper reports from Chicago:
Treatment for Bipolar II disorder prompted a medical leave for Jesse Jackson, Jr. that has stretched months now, and he says he can't be the full-time legislator that his constituents need. Jackson says, against the recommendations of his doctors, he had hoped to return to Washington, but now knows it isn't possible.
He has been the subject of a House Ethics investigation and knows that there is a Federal investigation into his activities. Jesse Jackson, Jr. says he's doing his best to cooperate.
In Chicago, Jennifer Keiper, FOX News Radio.
As Jackson steps down, he will avoid any formal charges from the House Ethics Committee in their investigation, but that doesn't mean he's out of the woods from criminal charges. But what exactly are they looking into?
FOX's Chad Pergram explains the investigation:
There's been a lot of speculation about Jackson, that there's been some sort of a legal probe - he's been under investigation by the House Ethics Committee. And everybody has suggested that, you know, this is all tied together in some way.
He was reportedly trying to, you know, perhaps peddle influence with Blagojevich to get what was then President Obama's Senate seat a couple of years ago, when President Obama vacated that back in 2008-2009. Rod Blagojevich, as we know, went to jail, but there are some other funny things around his political finances, regarding how he used them.
He had basically admitted that he had had an affair with someone, and one of the things I am told that the Ethics Committee has been looking at is whether or not this focuses on his inappropriate use of those political funds.
Jackson easily won reelection earlier this month, but his resignation means he won't take office in Congress's next session. So what happens to that seat now?
FOX's Chad Pergram explains the future of Jackson's House seat:
The Governor will determine when a special election will be held to fill this, depending on when the resignation takes effect. Now, the House of Representatives, because it's the Thanksgiving holiday here, is out of session until next week. They will have to formally read the letter of resignation on the floor, regardless of when it's effective here, and then declare the seat open.
The process in Illinois could take anywhere from three-to-six months, so this seat will be vacant, most likely, at the beginning of the new Congress in January.