'I am guilty, Your Honor,' Jesse Jackson Jr. tells judge

February 20, 2013 8:41:58 AM PST
Former Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. and ex-Chicago alderman Sandi Jackson declined to comment as they arrived in federal court.

Jackson Jr. looked somber and serious as he entered the courthouse. It was the first time he has been seen in public in eight months.

Jonathan and Yusef Jackson, the former Congressman's brothers, were also spotted.

The Reverend Jesse Jackson arrived at the courthouse about an hour after his son and said nothing to the media as he walked into the courtroom holding hands with his wife Jacqueline.

Both Sandi and Jesse Jackson Jr. are expected to plead guilty in a case that ended their political careers.

It's a huge fall from grace for Jesse Jackson Jr. who once aspired to even higher political office.

He used to openly talk about becoming the first African-American speaker of the house or even president.

The feds first focused on him, looking into claims an emissary offered campaign cash in exchange for an appointment by Rod Blagojevich to the U.S. Senate.

A lifelong friend of Jesse Jackson Jr., Mark Allen, said it will be a difficult day for the former Congressman.

"He's struggled with how to prepare for these bad days," Allen said. "It's a big struggle for him on a personal level. A struggle for him on his physical health."

The use of improper campaign cash ultimately clipped the wings of this once high-flying couple.

Jesse Jackson Jr. has been accused of using $750,000 from his campaign fund to pay personal expenses including credit card bills, a gold-plated Rolex watch, furniture for his kids and Michael Jackson and Bruce Lee memorabilia.

Sandi Jackson is charged with tax fraud.


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