Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. says he asked for guidance from the Federal Election Commission before using campaign funds to cover a portion of a trip to Israel.
Jackson stayed in Israel after the other lawmakers on the trip left late on Aug. 15 in order to attend additional meetings, the Illinois Democrat said. He said he called the Federal Election Commission for verbal guidance on the question of having his re-election campaign cover the tab for the extra days, though he said he didn’t request anything in writing.
“It is impossible on an AIEF trip to meet everyone that you need to meet,” Jackson said in an interview. “There were additional meetings I wanted to have in the West Bank and in Bethlehem while I was there that I had to set up after the trip. ... This was not a vacation for me.”
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.