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

    Imagine that. Jesse JR is allowed to make a plea before being charged or indicted? I wonder who daddy threatened to boycott? No else woudl get this treatment except someone who is a friend to Barrack and Eric.

    February 8, 2013 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  2. bjnj

    hey the FORNICATOR spawns a crook! What's that about an apple not falling far from the tree. BJNJ

    February 8, 2013 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  3. firstdayofrestoflife

    What a shame on the family name.

    February 8, 2013 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  4. Fair is Fair

    Well paint me shocked.

    February 8, 2013 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  5. 1gadawg

    let the timer start!! How long will it be before Jessie Snr. brings race into the story?

    February 8, 2013 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  6. Tsimbi

    The nut doesn't fall far from the tree.

    February 8, 2013 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  7. jb

    One down, LOTS more to go! Illinois is still jus completely screwed.

    February 8, 2013 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  8. Camfella

    I'd be depressed too if I got caught being corrupt!

    February 8, 2013 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  9. Max Paynn

    Hmmmm....Looking more like an illness that just happened to coincide with a federal take down. "I didn't know what I was doing, 'cause I'm sick. P.S. My wife also didn't know what she was doing because of my sickness."

    February 8, 2013 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  10. ChitownStever

    If it was a White Congressman Jesse Sr would be all over this story.But since his Son is the culprit he has nothing to say.Rev Jackson is the most hypocritical person i've ever seen.He always has something to say when the cameras are rolling but now he's shutting up and laying low.

    February 8, 2013 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  11. jean luc

    Does he still get his "pension"?

    February 8, 2013 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  12. Carlton

    Another crooked and corrupt politician in America. What else is new.

    February 8, 2013 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  13. mike Lake Orion Michigan

    The bad apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

    February 8, 2013 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  14. sonnie3

    The apple fell right next to the tree. Chicago is the most corrupt town in America.

    February 8, 2013 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  15. John Bacon

    Like Father like Son

    February 8, 2013 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  16. Get over it

    Shocking development (not)

    February 8, 2013 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  17. Common Sense Blogger

    Chicago, joke. Philadelphia, joke. San Francisco, joke. Yet you keep voting 'em in. Two words: Term Limits.

    February 8, 2013 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  18. Chuck

    Fruit didn't fall far from the tree

    February 8, 2013 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  19. john vance

    I wonder what percentage of politicians sticking their hand in the wrong cookie jar (or their pickle in the wrong barrel) actually get caught. I suspect it's harder to get away with this than it used to be.

    February 8, 2013 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  20. FubarObama

    Jesse jackson Jr., got caught with his hand in the cookie jar and its buried in the news But when he cried he was depressed and had an unknown medical illness it was on the front page of every paper in America o garner sympathy for an oppressed man. Give me a break. I too would be sick if I knew I was going to be indicted. Chicago politicians (including our esteemed community organizer are all on the take.

    February 8, 2013 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  21. widow

    The whole family is nuts.. They are crooks. He tried to buy the senate seat vacated by obama and the only person I have seen get in trouble is the governer.. Pretty pathetic.. His father hates obama.. Which i find even more hilarious considering 93% of the black community voted for obama in 2012. You look at jesse jr and his wife.. jesse sr talking about wishing he could cut obama's nuts off when he didn't know anyone was recording him.. pretty pathetic how anyone in there family still has any influence. They are all soooooooo arrogant it is unbelievable.

    February 8, 2013 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  22. Hilary Clinton

    He is just like another " Prince" : Kwame Kilpatrick, the former Mayor of Detroit. Their parents are "public figures", therefore the world owes them, and they have a right to steel, cheat and take bribes.
    But... who is gonna bet against me that both of them will stay free, well-off , run for re-election ... and win?

    February 8, 2013 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  23. Name lynn

    Is jesse an sandi guilty of mismangement of money, or they proctor for the white people which one is it, yea they black but white people been stealing money whats next.

    February 8, 2013 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  24. robertotirado

    I recommend everyone reads "Shakedown" – a great book that details how Jesse Jackson Sr and Je shook down white mega corporations or be boycotted by his useless Rainbow Coalition front....I see that Karma has aught up with these tw hypocritical and racist men of color......

    February 8, 2013 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  25. GMENFAN54

    The apple doesn't fall too far from the tree.

    February 8, 2013 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
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