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Rep. Rush: Jackson Jr. ‘crying,’ still ‘can’t take the pressure’ of speaking publicly

U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush right speaks as U.S. Rep. Danny Davis looks news conference Chicago Wednesday Nov. 21 2012. Rep.

U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush, right, speaks as U.S. Rep. Danny Davis looks on at a news conference in Chicago, on Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2012. Rep. Jesse Jackson resigned from Congress Wednesday, saying in a letter that he is cooperating with a federal investigation "into my activities" but blaming his health problems for his decision to step down just two weeks after his re-election. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

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Updated: December 26, 2012 9:43AM

U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) Saturday said his former colleague and friend Jesse Jackson Jr. still “can’t take the pressure” of speaking publicly about his resignation.

“Some moments he would be very articulate, very flowing with his thoughts, very much in control and command, but then at the drop of the hat, he just started crying,” Rush said about Jackson’s behavior when the two recently met.

“I don’t want you to see him in that way and I don’t want anyone else to see him in that light.”

Rush said Jackson is suffering tremendously and “does not want to be an embarrassment to his children, to his family and to the people of the 2nd Congressional District.”

Jackson resigned from Congress on Wednesday, just weeks after he won re-election. In a two-page letter to U.S. Speaker of the House John Boehner, he acknowledged that he is cooperating with a federal investigation into his “activities” and detailed his ongoing battle with mental illness.

At the Rainbow PUSH headquarters Saturday, U.S. Rep. Danny Davis (D-Ill.) joined Rush to show support for Jackson and his family. Davis said he is in the dark about the federal investigation but said “lawyers are at work, and I guess at some point pretty soon, we’ll know what their findings are, what the agreements are.”

“I’m not sure that anybody other than the people who are actively engaged in the investigation really know,” Davis said. “I certainly don’t know what all of the allegations are. I don’t know what Rep. Jackson was supposed to have done. I have not seen the information about what it was, where it is, so I think right now we’re just hearing allegations.”

The Chicago Sun-Times first reported in October that Jackson was under federal scrutiny in a financial investigation. Authorities are examining Jackson’s finances and the review has included activity involving Jackson’s wife, Ald. Sandi Jackson (7th).

But Jackson Jr.’s troubles didn’t stop supporters and friends from filling the Rainbow PUSH stage to express solidarity. After a rousing gospel song about hope and love, his father, the Rev. Jesse Jackson, briefly spoke: “I want to express and say thanks for all of your prayers and support.”

And Saturday’s crowd, like the congressmen, say they’re looking ahead and hoping for good, solid candidates in the special election for Jackson Jr.’s seat. Rush said he hopes the district’s constituents can “move beyond the pain and disappointment and move beyond the issues that they have and try to solidify in a united way.”

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