Jesse Jackson Jr. signs plea deal; wife also faces investigation
February 8th, 2013
03:23 PM ET
2 years ago

Jesse Jackson Jr. signs plea deal; wife also faces investigation

(CNN) – Former U.S. Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. has signed a plea deal with prosecutors who were investigating potential financial improprieties, according to a source close to Jackson's family.

Lawyers representing Jackson did not return CNN phone calls Friday, and the U.S. Attorney's office in Washington had no comment when asked about the Jackson case.

Last year, a law enforcement official told CNN that the FBI and federal prosecutors in Washington were investigating Jackson for possible financial improprieties. On Friday, the source told CNN that investigators are also looking at the possible involvement of Jackson's wife, Sandi Jackson, in those alleged improprieties. This official did not know if she might be charged in the investigation.

Sandi Jackson stepped down from the Chicago City Council on January 15, saying in a letter to Mayor Rahm Emanuel that she could not "deny my commitment to those most important personal responsibilities" of being a wife and mother.

She added her decision came "after much consideration and while dealing with very painful family health matters." She had held the seat since 2007.

Jesse Jackson Jr., a Democrat who represented Illinois' 2nd Congressional District beginning in 1995, resigned in late November after winning election to a tenth term in the House. He was all but absent from the campaign trail last year, recording only an October robo-call message to constituents which said "a series of events came together in my life at the same time and they've been difficult to sort through."

He had not been seen in Washington or his district since last spring, and his office slowly revealed that he was receiving treatment for a mood disorder, depression and gastrointestinal issues at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota.

The House Ethics Committee is separately looking into allegations that in 2008 Jackson, or one of his associates, offered to raise money for then-Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich in exchange for Jackson being appointed to the Senate seat vacated by Barack Obama.

"During my journey I have made my share of mistakes," former Rep. Jackson said in his November resignation letter to House Speaker John Boehner. "I am aware of the ongoing federal investigation into my activities and I am doing my best to address the situation responsibly, cooperate with my investigators, and accept responsibility for my mistakes, for they are my mistakes and mine alone."

Jackson is the son of the well-known civil rights leader. Reached Friday, the elder Jesse Jackson said "I have no comment regarding my son. I cannot confirm anything and if you are looking for that kind of information or confirmation it's not going to come from me."

Asked how his son was doing, Jackson said he was "taking his medication and handling his challenges."

A special election to fill Jesse Jackson Jr.'s House seat has been set for this spring.

CNN's Carol Cratty, Katherine Wojtecki and Kevin Liptak contributed to this report.


Filed under: Jesse Jackson Jr.
soundoff (60 Responses)
  1. Bluejeans in Chicago

    Well color me surprised....

    February 8, 2013 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  2. Joe

    Ridiculous. He still gets to keep his pension and disability. This is ridiculous. It's another FRAUD!! Disability Fraud. I love how congress takes care of one another when they are found guilty! In my mind the entire congress is guilty if they do not fight this! Why should we as taxpayers have to pay his pension if he did all the things he is coping a plea to? Please someone explain this!!!

    February 8, 2013 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  3. Joe

    He is still getting his pension and disability. What a fraud! And us taxpayers have to pay him for the rest of his life.

    February 8, 2013 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  4. yol]]

    Greed got him. He was on easy street and screwed that up with greed.

    February 8, 2013 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  5. CommonSense

    Very unfortunate to crash and burn like that – I had high hopes for Jesse Jackson Jr. (I wondered what all that stress and anxiety was about...guess it was only a matter of a time after elcetions for it to all come out? Close call for Obama, huh?)

    February 8, 2013 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  6. Thomas

    On Friday, the source told CNN that investigators are also looking at the possible involvement of Jackson's wife, Sandi Jackson, in those alleged improprieties. This official did not know if she might be charged in the investigation.

    Sandi Jackson stepped down from the Chicago City Council on January 15, saying in a letter to Mayor Rahm Emanuel that she could not "deny my commitment to those most important personal responsibilities" of being a wife and mother.

    She added her decision came "after much consideration and while dealing with very painful family health matters." She had held the seat since 2007.

    No Plea deal , send them both to prison if guilty , let one turn on the other .
    Real time for a real crime ! If you don't come down heavy on political corruption , it will never stop , Dem or Rep !

    February 8, 2013 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  7. looknclick

    Maybe his fail and fall will unravel a bigger scope of the events and people.

    GOPs here's your chance to shine.

    At least his wife didn't simulate mental disorder, concussions and other nonsense of that kind.

    February 8, 2013 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  8. ryan

    Wow, amazing that Obama is not the only corrupt politician in America.

    February 8, 2013 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  9. Jack 2

    I'm sure Obama and Jesse sr are pulling strings for Jr.

    February 8, 2013 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  10. Al

    Go figure another Illinois politician that is nothing more than a common criminal. I hope he gets a year for every $100.00 that he "mismanaged".

    February 8, 2013 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  11. Carrie

    He learned from daddy!!!

    February 8, 2013 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  12. Jim

    Too bad he can't be sued for fraud for a) lying about why he was absent from work (while getting a government paycheck), b) lying to the voters about his status, while running for office. If he had revealed his true status before the election, it's possible that even the crazy voters of that district might have elected someone else instead of electing him 'in absentia' only to have him then replaced.

    February 8, 2013 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  13. Deesnutz

    Another scam artist. I bet he pretended to be sick for 8 months just to try and keep this out of the spotlight and collect a free check from the taxpayers that hired him.

    February 8, 2013 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  14. Gurgyl

    If you are honest no one will show finger at you. Learn it. Or face consequences in a hard way serving jail term. It is the beauty of USA–it dies not matter whether you are rich.

    February 8, 2013 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  15. Nelson Colorado Springs Co

    This so sad, but wrong is wrong Go to jail do not collect $200.00

    February 8, 2013 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  16. Kevin Shashack

    I wouold suggest an audit to anything connected with the Jackson name. With Jessie Sr the stinking apple does not fall far from the tree. Think in Chicago they need to open those books. glad to see the stepdown of Sandi Jackson. Wonder how much of the public money greased the Jackson wheel of progress?

    February 8, 2013 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  17. maggie

    He will get his pension. just like the guy from NY. they fired him gave him a pension 1 millions dollars. gets to keep his benefits. but they want to take away veterans med- ical that was promised for life and they are dying for there country. That is justice I guess. look at the raises and pensions the politicans give themselves. But look at minimum wages for rest of America.

    February 8, 2013 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  18. TickedinNY

    What a lowlife. I agree with Joe that he should lose all pensions and benefits. Piece of trash that he is, should be sitting in prison, and his wife should too.

    February 8, 2013 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  19. raab paaka

    he's no cornball brutha there, he's mo'devily down with the cause !

    February 8, 2013 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  20. dnc

    Are we ever going to see Democrat crooks spend time in jail, or is that just a Republican thing?

    February 8, 2013 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  21. mickey doyle

    man i thought the state of new jerasey had the most corrupt democratic politicians,but i was wrong it seems that illinois is the #1 in the country.sorry new jersey!

    February 8, 2013 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  22. DARNELL

    Only thugs come from Chicago, that's for sure.

    February 8, 2013 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  23. ickypic

    Ain't this rich. Pun meant. That's why benefits for congress should limited to time served. And nepotism is rampant in politics. The the dumb sheep keep electing them.

    February 8, 2013 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  24. Virginia

    So what is the 653 senators and house reps, medical excuse fo taking payoffs called donations? How about the state politicians, will they be able to claim stress made them take all those payoffs? We need to hire more FBI agents so we can get our government working for the people' not only multi millionaires or billionaires, that hired them. That's what you did when you voted for them, you hired them with great pay , health care, and any benifit you can think of. So why would any excuse be allowed. I can just see one of us before the judge saying " your honor. I was under stress when I borrowed that money without my employer knowing about it, so let's just forget about it!

    February 8, 2013 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  25. Anonymous

    They both need to pass go and let the jail door hit them in the a....

    February 8, 2013 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
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