CHICAGO
10/13/2012 01:00 pm ET Updated Oct 15, 2012

Jesse Jackson Jr. Investigation: Feds Target Congressman's Finances In New Probe

U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.) is reportedly the target of a new federal investigation.

According to the Chicago Sun-Times, federal investigators are looking into "suspicious activity" concerning the congressman's finances.

The probe, the Sun-Times reports, began a matter of weeks before Jackson went on leave from his work in Washington, a break his office said was needed in order for the congressman to receive treatment for bipolar disorder and related depression and gastrointestinal issues.

Sources told NBC News that lawyers representing Jackson met with federal prosecutors this week in an attempt to avoid charges being filed against the congressman prior to the Nov. 6 election.

Frank Watkins, Jackson's spokesman, told NBC that he first found out about the federal probe from the Sun-Times report. Watkins told NBC Chicago that he has had "very little" contact with Jackson recently.

The probe is reportedly unrelated to an ongoing ethics investigation concerning whether Jackson was aware of efforts to raise money for imprisoned former Gov. Rod Blagojevich in exchange for his appointment to the Senate in 2008.

Jackson has not been charged of any wrongdoing in either investigation.

Now more than four months since the Chicago Democrat withdrew from the public eye, pressure has continued to mount for the congressman to either step down or offer a timeline for his return to work. The Jackson family last month put their Washington, D.C. home on the market for $2.5 million, but the listing was later removed as the family cited security concerns.

Chicago Alderman Sandi Jackson, the congressman's wife, said last week that her husband is eager to "get back out and do what he can" but that his doctors have directed him to "stay very calm and very quiet." She added that she was unsure whether Jackson will return to work before next month's election.

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