Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. "not well," he says

In this Oct. 16, 2011, file photo, Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr., D-Ill., is seen during the dedication of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in Washington.
AP Photo

Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr., D-Ill., is "not well," he admitted in his first interview since taking leave of absence early this summer. And on top of being treated for his persisting mental health issues, Jackson, Jr. is also battling a criminal investigation by the FBI, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. 

Despite reports that Jackson, Jr., has been spotted out and about in Washington, D.C., including a bar near his Dupont Circle residence, he has remained largely off the grid and says he attends sessions twice a day at George Washington University Hospital to treat his bipolar depression.

Jackson, Jr. took congressional leave in June. His wife, Chicago Alderwoman Sandi Jackson, later explained he had been receiving treatment at Minnesota's Mayo Clinic because he had become "completely debilitated by depression."

According to the Sun-Times, Jackson, Jr.'s attorneys have raised his illness with federal prosecutors probing allegations that he misused campaign money to decorate his house. In its final stages, the investigation could result in indictment of the congressman before Nov. 6, when he's up for reelection.

Still, a former longtime staffer of Jackson, Jr., and his father, civil rights activist Rev. Jesse Jackson, Sr., told The Daily she predicts a fairly easy win for the congressman if he's not indicted.

"I think the numbers are in his favor because the people running against him are unknowns who don't have any money," Delmarie Cobb, who now runs the Chicago public relations firm, "The Publicity Works," said of GOP challenger Brian Woodworth and independent Marcus Lewis. "Jackson has around $250,000 in his campaign coffers, I read recently, enough for direct mailings."

Cobb said she could see Jackson, Jr. resigning if the investigation or his illness escalate: "I can't guess what would go on in his head, but I do believe he takes being a congressman very seriously," she said. "And if he thought he couldn't effectively do his job anymore, that might happen."

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