Pleading guilty to fraud and facing as many as five years in prison, former Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. tearfully acknowledged Wednesday that he was losing one of the rights for which his father fought.

Jackson Jr. admitted to misusing campaign funds to purchase luxury items including a Rolex watch, furs and the late Michael Jackson’s fedora.

Jackson Jr. resigned from the House of Representatives in November after receiving treatment for bipolar disorder. He had served in the House since 1995.

Jackson’s father, of course, is the famed civil rights leader who worked with Martin Luther King Jr. and twice ran for president. As Reuters reports, the son was tearful when he told the judge he understood that he would lose certain rights:

In accepting Jackson’s plea, [U.S. District Judge Robert] Wilkins went through a series of questions that are routinely asked of defendants but that took on poignancy because of Jackson’s father’s career as a civil rights champion: did he realize he would no longer be able to vote, serve on a jury or own a firearm due to his felony conviction?

Jackson said he did and wiped tears from his eyes.

— Posted by Peter Z. Scheer.


You know the story. Independent journalism is under threat and overshadowed by heavily funded mainstream media. During this holiday season, you can help level the playing field. Become a member.

Your tax-deductible contribution keeps us digging beneath the headlines to give you thought-provoking, investigative reporting and analysis that unearth what's really happening- without compromise. Give today to support our courageous, independent journalists.

As always, we wish you truth, reason and the best of the season!