Attorneys for the Justice Department and Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. are in talks about a possible deal regarding allegations of campaign finance violations, according to sources familiar with the investigation. Negotiations have been under way for some time.
It is unclear whether the talks will result in a plea agreement, but sources say the talks could come to some conclusion soon.
Part of the investigation's focus is on whether Jackson improperly used campaign funds for personal purchases, including furnishings for his Washington, D.C., home. Investigators are also looking at allegations that Jackson bought a female friend a $40,000 Rolex watch. The investigation is being run by the FBI's Washington Field Office.
Representative Jackson's office said he is currently receiving treatment at the Mayo Clinic – his second prolonged stay there since being diagnosed with bi-polar disorder. He is refraining from any official duties until he is given a clean bill of health by his doctors.
The Chicago congressman coasted to victory in Tuesday's election, keeping a seat he first won in a special election in 1995. Jackson won re-election despite having virtually no presence on the campaign trail. A robo-call to constituents describing his recent health troubles and thanking supporters for their "patience, your prayers … during this difficult time" appears to be the only evidence of Jackson's campaigning at all.
He has been absent from his congressional duties since this past summer. He last voted in the chamber on June 8 and has missed every one of the 225 votes since.
Jackson first came under a cloud of controversy in December 2008 when his name surfaced in the investigation of then Gov. Rod Blagojevich's scheme to peddle the Senate seat of president-elect Barack Obama. A House ethics probe into Jackson's activities was triggered but halted at the request of the Justice Department, which was conducting its own investigation.