Jesse Jackson Jr., Sandi Jackson due in court Wednesday

Jesse Jackson Jr. and Sandi Jackson are seen in this file image.
February 19, 2013 8:42:15 PM PST
Former Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. and his wife, former Chicago Alderman Sandi Jackson, will both appear in court Wednesday in Washington, DC.

Jackson Jr. and Sandi Jackson will appear at separate times to plead guilty to separate charges. While the charges each of them face may be different, they both stem from the same crime, using campaign money to enrich themselves.

The former congressman's hearing will be Wednesday morning at 9:30 a.m. CST. He is accused of misusing campaign funds.

Sandi Jackson's hearing will be at 1:30 p.m. CST. She is charged for allegedly filing false tax returns.

In the shadow of the House he once aspired to lead, Jesse Jackson Jr. will enter a different house Wednesday, the federal courthouse, where he is expected to enter a guilty plea.

There was no answer Tuesday at Jackson Jr.'s primary residence in the nation's capital. As early as Wednesday, the Jacksons are expected to codify in court a steep and severe fall from grace.

"The prosecutor will...in this case...recite the allegations of the information," said former federal prosecutor Pat Collins. "And then they'll turn to the defendant, and they'll say, 'You heard the prosecutor. Is all that true?' And Mr. Jackson will say, 'Yes.' "

In court, prosecutors will provide a judge with a thumbnail sketch of their case:

Jackson allegedly used $750,000 from his campaign fund to pay personal expenses. Those expenses include a $43,350 gold-plated Rolex watch, $9,587 worth of children's furniture, Bruce Lee and Michael Jackson memorabilia, plus $5,150 worth of fur capes and parkas.

Back in December, while then-Alderman Sandi Jackson was telling people she would not quit City Council, the feds were squeezing her, too. For years, she has quietly collected tens of thousands of dollars for "consulting" on her husband's campaigns.

In court filings, prosecutors put it bluntly: "The goal of the conspiracy was the defendant Jesse Jackson, Junior and Co-Conspirator 1 (Sandi Jackson) to enrich themselves."

"The government, predictably, will talk about deterrents and will talk about how this is a serious situation, and you have to send a message," Collins said.

Don't expect to hear courtroom apologies or pleas for mercy on Wednesday. Those will come during the sentencing phase, sometime down the road.

Mark Allen is Jackson Jr.'s lifelong friend. He says this is something Jackson Jr. will have to deal with for the rest of his life.

"He has to live with these same personal judgments that he made that are not right... It's a big stuggle for him on a personal level, it's a stuggle for him on his physical health," said Allen.


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