Former Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr and his wife former alderman Sandi Jackson appeared in federal court today and both plead guilty to misuse of campaign funds.
It was a full day in court; two defendants, two different court appearances, one family. Not just any family. The son of the Rev Jesse Jackson and his wife.
Their fall from grace was a far one. Both of them wept in the courtroom today as they admitted to the nation they are guilty of breaking the law.
“I’m sorry I let everybody down,” Jackson Jr said.
Once a congressman planning a powerful political career, today, Jackson Jr was a defendant in a criminal case planning for prison. He and his wife Sandi entered the federal courthouse in Washington together. His father the Rev Jesse Jackson along with his mother and siblings were by his side.
A gaunt and emotionally fragile looking Jackson Jr made his first real public appearance in more than nine months. He wept on and off throughout the proceedings and told the judge he was aware of the gravity of the hearing and the charges against him totaling $750,000.
“For years, I’ve lived off my campaign,” Jackson told Judge Robert Wilkins. “I took money that should’ve been used for the campaign and used it for personal purposes.”
And he admits he took alot. It is the largest case of its kind, said the US attorney in Washington DC with over 3100 transactions in 7 years.
- Clubs/restaurants: $60,857
- Airfare: $31,700
- Tobacco Shops: $17,000
- Home renovation: $26,000
- $8,000 on 2 wild Elk Heads.
- $12,000 spent at Best Buy:
- $15,000 at ABT electronics and more.
- Costco, Ticketmaster, Build-a-Bear
The total charged to Jackson Jr’s campaign credit card: $583,000.
“It turns out that Jesse has serious health issues. those health issues are directly related to his present predicament. That’s not an excuse, that’s just a fact,” said Jackson’s attorney Reid Weingarten.
Sandi Jackson had her day in court, too, shaking her head and wiping tears as tax fraud charges were read aloud. In a little voice she told the court she pleads “guilty.”
Jackson Jr is scheduled to be sentenced on June 28. Sandi to be sentenced July 1.