U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.) -- who disappeared from the public eye over four months ago before going on an extended medical leave while receiving treatment for bipolar disorder -- has apparently reappeared, two nights in a row, at a Washington D.C. bar.
Gawker's John Cook reports that, according to his two unnamed sources, the Chicago Democrat was seen drinking at Bier Baron Tavern in Dupont Circle last Tuesday and Wednesday evenings. Jackson was reportedly drinking with a different woman each night at the bar, which is located less than a half-mile from the Jackson family's D.C. home.
When asked by Gawker, Jackson spokesman Frank Watkins said he didn't "have any information" about the report.
On Friday, the Chicago Sun-Times broke the story that Jackson is reportedly the target of a new federal investigation. The paper reported that investigators were looking into "suspicious activity" concerning the congressman's finances.
The Wall Street Journal on Monday reported that federal prosecutors are "in the final stages" of the criminal probe, which alleges that Jackson misused campaign funding to redecorate his home.
Sources on Friday told NBC News that lawyers representing Jackson met with federal prosecutors last week in an attempt to avoid any charges being filed against the congressman prior to the Nov. 6 election. According to the Wall Street Journal, Justice Department officials have rejected that request.
The probe reportedly dates back to shortly before Jackson went on leave from his work in Washington in June, a break his office said was needed in order for the congressman to receive treatment for bipolar disorder and related depression and gastrointestinal issues at the Mayo Clinic. Jackson returned to D.C. from the clinic early last month.
The matter 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.
Chicago Alderman Sandi Jackson, the congressman's wife, said this month 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, when her husband is expected to be re-elected to another two-year term.
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