WASHINGTON--Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.) resigned on Wednesday, citing health reasons in a letter to House Speaker John Boehner--where he also acknowledges, for the first time, the federal probe he is facing. House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) talked Wednesday to Jackson and his father, the Rev. Jesse L. Jackson.
Jackson said he resigned, effective Wednesday "in order to focus on restoring my health." In Congress for 17 years, Jackson said "During this journey I have made my share of mistakes. I am aware of the ongoing federal investigation into my activities. and I am doing my best to address the situation responsibly, cooperate with the investigators and accept responsibility for my mistakes, for they are mistakes and mine alone. None of us is immune from our share of shortcomings or human frailities and I pray that I will be remembered for what I did right.
"It has been a profound honor to serve the constitutients of Illinois' Second District and I thank them for their patience, words of support and prayers during what has been and what will continue to be a very trying time for me and my family.
"..With optimism and hope I look forward to the day when my treatment is complete and my health improves."
Pelosi said in a statement, "It is with great sadness that we learned of Congressman Jackson's decision to
submit his resignation. His service in Congress was marked by his eloquent
advocacy for his constituents' views and interests.
"Through his public statements and his writings, he presented a fresh
perspective on how we work together to form a more perfect union.
"As he works to address his health, our thoughts and prayers are with him, his
wife Sandi, his children as well as his parents. We are grateful to him and his
family for their longstanding record of public service to our country."