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Third Party Enters Spat Between Reps. Jackson Jr. and Lee Terry

A House floor spat between Reps. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.) and Lee Terry (R-Neb.) has officially gotten out of hand. The FBI is now investigating a third party's involvement in the spat, which most likely has nothing to do with Jackson or Terry.

A man claiming to be a relative of Jackson walked into Terry's Omaha office last Friday and said he was "Jesse Jackson's (Jr.) hitman," a spokeswoman for Terry tells the Sleuth. The spokeswoman, Kristin Durbin, says the unidentified man told the receptionist "that he'd like to beat up Congressman Terry."

"These were inappropriate comments and the office contacted the Capitol Police after the man left," she said, adding, "The incident was referred to the FBI."

The man was described as five feet nine inches tall, white and in his early 50's, according to a local Omaha TV station.

The bizarre incident came just days after Jackson - a black belt in martial arts - and Terry - not a black belt - nearly came to blows on the House floor in the incredibly contentious final hours before Congress adjourned for August recess. The two of them never did "take it outside" as Jackson had suggested, and both later accused the other of cursing and instigating the argument.

Terry's District Manager, Tory Lucas, tells Omaha's Action 3 News, "Apparently the gentleman read the article about Congressman Terry's incident with Congressman Jackson. He referenced that article and said he'd like to fight Congressman Terry. He said he'd like to hit him and said he's Congressman Jackson's hit-man."

The man did not pull a weapon and left the building after about 10 minutes.

By Mary Ann Akers  |  August 9, 2007; 11:44 AM ET
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