Jessie Jackson, Jr. has been charged with…
Yes, this is just an indictment; he hasn’t been convicted yet, but all the reporting I’ve seen is stating the indictment was the first step towards a plea deal, and Jackson does plan to plead guilty to at least some of the charges.
The allegations include:
- “Jackson used campaign funds to buy a $43,350 gold Rolex watch along with almost $10,000 in children’s furniture that he had delivered to his home in the District.”
- “Jackson made direct expenditures of about $57,793 from the campaign’s accounts for personal expenses. The documents say he and a co-conspirator used a campaign credit card to make $582,773 worth of purchases for their own use.”
According to the WP, while the co-conspirator was not named, “the description makes clear that [Mrs. Jackson] was the co-conspirator”. She hasn’t been charged in this case, but:
Jackson’s wife was charged with filing false income-tax returns from 2006 through 2011, according to a separate criminal information in her case. That charge has a maximum sentence of three years in prison.
The reporting I’ve seen provides some additional context for Jackson Jr.’s spending. This wasn’t “I needed to pay the house payment, so I took money out of campaign funds” spending:
- $10,105 worth of Bruce Lee memorabilia, “including four separate purchases of items associated with the late martial-arts film hero”.
- $14,200 worth of “random Michael Jackson memorabilia”.
- “$4,000 for a ‘Michael Jackson and Eddie Van Halen’ guitar.”
- And $4,600 for a fedora worn by Michael Jackson. Can’t your see it in your mind? Jackson Jr. and his wife are at the mall, and they look into the window of one of those memorabilia shops? “Oooooh,
Tom Landry’sMichael Jackson’s hat!”
I remember reading the stories that Jackson Jr. was absent from Congress and out of touch, and the eventual announcements he was being treated for depression, but I did not associate those with an on-going criminal investigation:
Jackson eventually fled Washington for psychological treatment, abandoning Capitol Hill for several weeks without telling congressional leaders why he was absent. Later in the summer of 2012, his office announced that he was being treated for depression at the Mayo Clinic, whose doctors issued a more detailed statement in mid-August saying he suffered from bipolar disorder. Despite his months-long absence from the District, Jackson won reelection Nov. 6 with 71 percent of the vote.