Feds investigate Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.'s finances - FOX 32 News Chicago

Feds investigate Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.'s finances

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Reports of a federal investigation into Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.'s finances surfaced Friday afternoon, looking into how he spent money from his campaign chest over the past couple of years.

He has not been charged with any wrongdoing.

The Chicago Sun-Times reports this inquiry focuses on "suspicious activity" that may have taken place involving his House finances and possible inappropriate expenditures.

The investigation centers on his home decor - and how he paid for it.

The Wall Street Journal reports the federal probe is looking into whether the congressman used campaign money to decorate his home.

A source said that Congress had eyes on the account.

Sources said the FBI launched the Washington D.C.-based investigation is "totally" separate from the House Ethics Committee's ongoing probe, which is connected to former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich's corruption conviction.

They're looking into whether or not Congressman Jackson tried to "buy" the senate seat vacated by then Senator Barack Obama when he was elected president in 2008.

A couple of sources close to the family told FOX Chicago News Friday night that the congressman is home with his wife, Alderman Sandi Jackson, and their two children.

They said he had already been questioned by federal investigators about how money from his campaign fund was spent.

This investigation was in effect before the congressman's mysterious medical leave of absence, which began in June. His representatives revealed weeks later that he was being treated for depression – specifically, bipolar disorder.

FOX Chicago's sources have confirmed that the meeting between Rep. Jackson and the FBI took place before Jackson checked into the Mayo Clinic.

Jackson's congressional spokesman Frank Watkins said he was unaware of any investigation, had no comment and had no immediate way to get a hold of the congressman.

One of Jackson's attorney's, Paul Langer, repeatedly said "no comment" when asked whether Jackson was under investigation related to his finances.

When asked if he was still representing Jackson or if he had retained another attorney, Langer said: "I can't even comment on that."

Rep. Jackson Jr. is up for re-election in the 2nd district. He has served in that position in since 1997. According to the latest polls, he is still the favorite, despite his absence from the campaign trail.

Now with just three weeks until the election, the congressman's opponents in the 2nd district say it's time for Jackson to start talking.

"He has abandoned and deserted his post as congressman and he's made it perfectly clear that he doesn't want the job," said independent candidate Marcus Lewis.

"If he can be out in the public talking with other people in DC, why can't he come back and talk to the people in his district. He needs to, but he's not. There's no communication and there's a commitment problem here too," said Republican candidate Brian Woodworth.

The House Ethics Committee's investigation is still open, and sources told FOX Chicago that the family is wondering if something might come down in that case before the election.

Citing exhaustion, Jackson, 47, stopped working, according to his staff, on June 10. His staff did not make that known until two weeks later.

He went to a clinic in Arizona, then to the Mayo Clinic, which released a statement saying he was treated for a bipolar disorder. Jackson is up for re-election Nov. 6 but has not campaigned since he won the spring Democratic primary.

The Jacksons put their Washington, D.C., home on the market last month at a price of $2.5 million. A campaign spokesman said at the time that home was put on the market to pay for mounting medical bills. Because of security concerns, "public" showings have since stopped.

Jackson came under scrutiny after one his campaign donors approached Blagojevich with a pay-to-play regarding the appointment to President Barack Obama's vacant Senate seat. Jackson has denied any wrongdoing, but the revelation sparked an investigation by a House ethics committee.

The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.

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