Nightly News   |  February 16, 2013

Jesse Jackson Jr. charged with misuse of funds

The day after former Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. was charged with misusing campaign funds, the downfall of the once rising political star has shaken his hometown of Chicago. NBC’s Michael Isikoff reports.

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>> reporter: is more tonight about the misfortunes of another prominent politician, former congressman jesse jackson jr . of chicago, who is charged with using campaign funds to finance an appetite for expensive jewelry, furs, and other luxury items. we get that story tonight from nbc's national investigative correspondent michael isikoff .

>> reporter: the day after former congressman jesse jackson jr . was charged with misusing campaign funds the downfall of the once rising political star has shaken his hometown of chicago. the level of theft on his part i find stunning. you have to learn from your mistakes. that's all. we pray for him.

>> reporter: jackson was charged friday with diverting $750,000 in campaign funds for personal benefit including $43,000 for a gold plated rolex, nearly $19,000 for michael jackson memorabilia, $10,000 for bruce lee items, $5100 for fur capes and parkas, and $5,000 for a football signed by u.s. presidents . using campaign contributions for these kinds of personal expenditures is way over the line. you just can't do it.

>> reporter: jackson 's wife sandra was also charged with income tax evasion in the case. i offer no excuses more my conduct jackson said in his statement. i want to offer my sincerest apologies to my family, my friends, and all of my supporters for my errors in judgment. jackson resigned last november just weeks after easily winning re-election. while he dropped from public view last year and said he was being treated for bipolar disorder, fbi agents were closing in initially investigating allegations one of his fundraisers offered to raise campaign cash for now convicted illinois governor rod blagojevich in exchange for naming jackson to fill barack obama 's senate seat. today at a rally held by operation push , the group founded by his father, family members stood by jackson . we can make it through this period of time. i love my brother. i will stand with him until the end of time .

>> reporter: jackson and his wife are expected to plead guilty in washington next week. he faces up to five years in prison but his lawyers will likely argue to lower that taking his medical problems into account. lester? michael isikoff , thanks.