Illinois congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. is in discussions with the Department of Justice to reach a plea deal which could him to prison and force his resignation from Congress. Jackson is believed to have misused campaign funds. Jackson has also recently been hospitalized in a mental institution for bipolar disorder.
Fox News Chicago cited an unnamed source who said that Jackson hired Dan Webb, a lawyer specializing in high profile corruption cases to represent him is discussions with the government.
Neither Jackson nor Webb responded to requests for comments on the negotiations from Reuters.
Last week, it was reported in the Chicago Sun-Tmes that Jackson was under investigation. Jackson allegedly used campaign funds to decorate his home and to purchase a $40,000 Rolex for a female he is close with. The report in unconfirmed.
In addition to the misuse of campaign funds, Jackson has been under investigation by a House ethics panel over an alleged bribe by one of Jackson’s supporters to convicted ex-Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich. The bribe was said to be intended to entice Blagojevich to appoint Jackson to the Senate seat vacated by President Barack Obama. Jackson has admitted to lobbying for the seat, but denied knowing about any money offered to Blagojevich, who has since been convicted on corruption charges and imprisoned.
There have been reports that the FBI was also investigating the allegations of misuse of funds and have been doing so for more than half of a year.
Jackson has not been seen in the House since last June when he was admitted to a psychiatric institution. He easily won reelection last week in spite of all his issues.