Report: DOJ Jackson Jr. probe expands to cover lawmaker’s wife

The Justice Department probe into Democratic Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (Ill.) over alleged misuse of campaign funds has broadened to include his wife, Chicago Alderwoman Sandi Jackson, The Wall Street Journal reports.

In a report Tuesday, the Journal said prosecutors are investigating whether Sandi Jackson was complicit in the alleged use of campaign money to redecorate the family’s Washington, D.C., home.

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Prosecutors have not decided whether they will press criminal charges against Sandi Jackson, and sources in the report suggested that federal lawyers are using the threat of charges to pressure Jesse Jackson to accept a plea deal. 

Reports last weekend said Jackson had been negotiating a plea deal over the probe that would require him to resign from Congress and could include serving jail time. 

News of the expanded probe comes as the lawmaker faces pressure from Chicago Mayor and former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel to discuss the matter with his constituents and assure voters he can fulfill his duties during the next congressional session. 


“With the election over, there are big issues coming up in the lame-duck session,” Emanuel said Monday, according to a report from NBC Chicago. “I think Congressman Jackson, it's incumbent upon him to have a conversation with his constituents about his intentions.”

Jackson has been missing from Congress since June, when he left to receive treatment for bipolar disorder. The Illinois lawmaker returned to Washington for a short time in October before being readmitted to the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota.

Jackson’s plea deal would reportedly allow him to step down from office citing health reasons, but would force him to repay the campaign money allegedly used for personal reasons.

Jackson did not campaign for his seat this election, but easily won reelection last Tuesday in his heavily Democratic district, by 63 to 23 percent.