November 8, 2012

Not Yet News at AP or Politico: Jesse Jackson Jr. Said to Be in Plea Deal Talks

As of shortly before 1 p.m. ET, at the Associated Press, aka the Administration’s Press, there is no story about what the Chicago Sun-Times reported Wednesday evening about just-reelected Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr., namely that he ” is in the midst of plea discussions with the feds probing his alleged misuse of campaign funds.” There is also no story on the home page at Politico.

Selected paragraphs from Michael Sneed’s Sun-Times report follow the jump (bolds are mine):

Jesse Jackson Jr. in plea deal talks with feds, sources say

Sneed has learned U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., who handily won re-election Tuesday despite a lengthy stay at Mayo Clinic for depression and bipolar disorder, is in the midst of plea discussions with the feds probing his alleged misuse of campaign funds.

“No one has pled guilty, but plea discussions are ongoing,” said a top Sneed source, who said Jackson is still undergoing treatment at Mayo Clinic.

… Sneed is also told Jackson, who returned to Mayo Clinic after undergoing outpatient treatment in the seclusion of his home in Washington, D.C., is not only being investigated for allegedly using campaign funds to decorate his Washington home — but also Sneed hears he may also have used campaign funds to buy a $40,000 Rolex watch as a gift for a female friend.

An heir apparent to the beneficence and largesse of the Jackson dynasty, Jackson has been immersed in a cloud of federal scrutiny for the past three years.

… The latest FBI inquiry into Jackson’s possible misuse of campaign funds began before Jackson went on medical leave in June.

If Jackson, a 17-year veteran of Congress, opts to plead guilty to a federal felony — or goes to trial and is found guilty — he’d have to resign from the office he just won with a commanding 64 percent of the vote. A new election would then have to be called.

According to a report in the Wall Street Journal last month, “attorneys for the lawmaker recently sought assurance from senior Justice Department officials to not seek an indictment before the November election.”

The Justice Department officials “refused to make such a promise,” according to the article.

Eric Holder’s Justice Department may not have made the promise, but it looks like it held off anyway.

Especially given the convenient DOJ delay, it’s virtually inconceivable that these two news outlets would sit on such a story for 15 minutes, let alone the current 15 hours, since the Sun-Times story broke, if a Republican or conservative were allegedly involved in plea discussions in a scandal involving campaign funds and an extramarital affair.

Cross-posted at Newsbusters.org.

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