JESSE JACKSON JR. PLEADS GUILTY TO CAMPAIGN FRAUD CHARGES

Published on: February 20, 2013
Photography by: Getty
NationalEnquirer.com

Former US REP JESSE JACKSON, Jr. pleads guilty to criminal charges of fraud after engaging in a scheme to spend $750,000 of campaign contributions on personal items. 

Under a plea deal with feds, Jackson, Jr. still faces 46 to 57 months in prison.

As The ENQUIRER first reported in a world exclusive, Jackson suffers from bipolar disorder and  has been hospitalized twice at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.

Jackson stayed out of the public eye raising concerns about his mysterious disappearance -- even during the November elections.

His attorney said that Jackson's health is "not an excuse" for his actions, "just a fact."

Before entering the guilty plea, Jackson told U.S. District Judge Robert L. Wilkins, "I've never been more clear in my life".

Jackson confessed to charges outlined in court papers, saying, "I did these things."

Jackson told the judge he was waiving his right to trial.

"In perfect candor, your honor, I have no interest in wasting the taxpayers' time or money," he said.

Jackson is free until sentencing June 28.

Feds previously tried to nail disgraced politico John Edwards on similar charges of misuse of presidential campaign funds for personal use – hiding his mistress and love child -- but Edwards beat the rap.