Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., to Resign

November 21, 2012
Jackson Jr. Reaches Plea Agreement
Jackson Jr. Reaches Plea Agreement (ABC News)

Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., the embattled Illinois congressman who has been on medical leave from Capitol Hill for months undergoing treatment for bipolar disorder, resigned from Congress Wednesday. Aides to House Speaker John Boehner said they have received a letter of resignation from Jackson Jr.

The news was first reported by ABC's Chicago affiliate WLS and two Chicago newspapers.

Jackson has faced a slew of problems in recent months, most recently a probe by federal investigators into his finances. The federal probe was trying to get to the bottom of "suspicious activity" connected to Jackson's House seat and potentially inappropriate expenditures.

Jackson's problems began in June when the son of civil rights leader Jesse Jackson suddenly left Congress, with his office stating that he was seeking treatment for "exhaustion." Two weeks later they noted that his condition was "more serious" than initially thought. Jackson, whose district includes a large portion of Chicago's South Side and southeast suburbs, then spent some time at a treatment facility in Arizona before later moving to the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. Finally in August the clinic said Jackson was being treated for bipolar disorder and was "responding well" and "regaining his strength." In early September Jackson returned home to his family in the nation's capital. A source told ABC News that day that Jackson "sounded good," but despite the Congressional summer recess ending a week later, Jackson did not return to work.

Despite all his troubles, Jackson still managed to win re-election in a landslide earlier this month. But now he will leave Congress, shrouded by personal problems and professional probes.

Reached by ABC News Wednesday, one of Jackson's colleagues Rep. Danny Davis, D-Ill., said he was not surprised that Jackson had decided to leave Capitol Hill, noting that Jackson had cancelled a conference call with constituents set for Wednesday morning.

"I did get the feeling that if you've got plans to say something this morning and then you don't, that would probably indicate that you were pretty close to something," Davis said.

ABC's John Santucci and Sarah Parnass contributed to this report.