Both Jacksons broke down in tears several times during their separate hearings in Washington. Mr. Jackson, who was charged with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, mail fraud, and false statements, told US District Judge Robert Wilkins he wished to waive his right to a trial because he has “no interest in wasting the taxpayers’ time or their money.”
“For years I lived off my campaign. I used money that should have been for campaign purposes, and I used them for myself personally,” he said.
Ms. Jackson, who is charged with a single tax crime, also waived her right to a trial and is set for sentencing July 1. Her husband, scheduled for sentencing June 28, faces a possible prison term of nearly five years and a fine of up to $100,000. Sandi Jackson faces a possible prison term of nearly two years.
Under the plea agreement, Mr. Jackson will be sentenced to between 46 and 57 months. His lead attorney, Reid Weingarten, is likely to argue for the shorter sentence on grounds that bipolar depression, a diagnosis Jackson received last fall, contributed to his actions.
Mr. Machin, however, noted Wednesday that Jackson “was an efficient congressman” during the seven years in question and capably made numerous public appearances, including a speech at the Democratic National Convention in 2008. “It’s hard for me to imagine how they’re going to reconcile this scheme and it being a byproduct of a recent medical condition,” he said.
Marcellus McRae, a former federal prosecutor now in private practice in Los Angeles, says that because Mr. Weingarten did not use the medical condition as a factor to fight the indictment, it may not be a strong enough argument.