A rumored plea deal for former Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.) may include a lengthy prison sentence, as the federal case against him continues to build. Jackson is under investigation for the misuse of campaign funds and his possible involvement with former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich and the sale of President Obama’s senate seat.
“Significant jail time is now definitely a part of the deal,” an anonymous source told reporter Michael Sneed of the Chicago Sun-Times.
“But I think [Jackson’s wife] Sandi, feels like she was thrown under the bus by her husband,” a second source told Sneed. A separate federal probe was recently launched against Sandi Jackson, who resigned from her position as Chicago alderman last month.
Jackson Jr. resigned from his congress seat in November after an easy win in his re-election year. He had taken an extended leave of absence during the summer to receive treatment for mental illness, and without campaigning still managed to win his Chicago district.
The former congressman attributed his resignation to the federal probe and his ongoing struggle with bipolar disorder.
Blagojevich is currently serving a 14-year sentence for his role in the corruption scandal, having been found guilty of 18 charges. With no formal indictment against Jackson Jr. , it is not known how strict his sentence could be.
A special primary election will be held on Feb. 26 to decide the Democratic candidate for Jackson’s seat, followed by the general election on April 9. Illinois’ 2nd Congressional District has a long history of voting Democratic, so the special election winner will most likely be Jackson’s successor. Possible candidates could include former U.S. Rep. Debbie Halvorson, Chicago Alderman Anthony Beale, and state Sen. Toi Hutchinson.