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Michael Sneed: Jesse Jackson Jr.’s plea talks have intensified but ‘take a deep breath,’ they could take months: source

Jesse JacksJr.

Jesse Jackson Jr.

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Updated: December 24, 2012 6:53AM



The Jackson file . . .

Sneed is told a federal indictment against U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. dealing with misuse of campaign funds may be the next step now that he pulled the plug on his career and resigned Wednesday just 16 days after his re-election.

Sneed has learned ongoing plea negotiations between Jackson’s attorneys and the feds have intensified, and “a resolution of this matter hopefully will be resolved in the next few months,” an informed source said.

“No deal is done yet and everyone should take a deep breath and relax,” a source said.

◆ Translation: An indictment is expected.

Meanwhile, Reid Weingarten, Brian Heberlig and Dan Webb, attorneys for Jackson, released a statement, saying, “Mr. Jackson is cooperating with the investigation. We hope to negotiate a fair resolution of the matter but the process could take several months. During that time, we will have no further comment and urge you to give Mr. Jackson the privacy he needs to heal and handle these issues responsibly.”

Sneed exclusively tipped on Nov. 8 that plea negotiations had begun between Jackson and the feds.

“There have been numerous discussions between Congressman Jackson, who just resigned, and the feds, and part of the plea negotiations would be he’d have to resign from office,” said a source familiar with the Jackson probe.

Although Jackson has yet to be charged with anything, Sneed is told his mental condition had become very fragile lately.

An outpatient until recently at Mayo Clinic, where he was being treated for depression and bipolar disorder with psychiatric help and a cocktail of medications, Jackson has been unable to speak publicly due to his heightened anxiety, a source said.

“The Congressman has very capable lawyers, which include former U.S. Attorney Dan K. Webb in Chicago and a cadre of Washington lawyers led by Reid Weingarten,” a source said.

Although Jackson’s wife, Ald. Sandi Jackson, could not be reached for comment, a source close to her claims she had been encouraging her husband to resign.

“She asked him to pray on it,” the source said. “It was the only way he could start getting well and focus on his therapy.”

“Triple J’s health has been the utmost importance to the entire Jackson family — including his father, Rev. Jesse Jackson — and his mother, who has become somewhat of a caretaker,” said a source. “But there has been a tug of war within the family over what path Jackson should take and how he would do it.”

“Now they all feel he can focus on getting well in order to handle what may be ahead,” the source added.

Word is Jackson will spend Thanksgiving with his parents and his siblings. It’s not clear where that will be.

A source close to Sandi Jackson, whose marriage has reportedly been fragile since disclosure of her husband’s infidelity went public three years ago, will be spending Thanksgiving with the couple’s two children and relatives in Ohio. The congressman had been staying with his wife and children as a Mayo Clinic outpatient in Washington from September until October until it became clear he needed to return to the clinic and away from the press.



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