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House Ethics investigators questioned witnesses here in Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. probe.

Updated: July 23, 2012 7:38AM



This past spring, investigators with the U.S. House Committee on Ethics visited Chicago to talk to witnesses as part of the ongoing investigation into U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., sources told the Chicago Sun-Times.

The man federal agents arrested on Wednesday on unrelated kickback charges, Raghuveer Nayak, is at the center of the allegations that the panel is investigating.

The panel has reached out to at least half a dozen people, attempting to get their words on the record.

Many declined the request. However, sources say that Harish Bhatt, a pharmacy owner who had attended a Rod Blagojevich fund-raiser where Jackson’s candidacy as the next U.S. Senator was discussed, spoke to the panel as did the former governor’s brother, Robert Blagojevich.

The Office of Congressional Ethics last year found probable cause that Jackson had improperly used his office to mount a campaign for the Senate in 2008 and said there that there was probable cause to believe that Jackson either directed Nayak to raise money for Blagojevich in exchange for a Senate seat appointment or that Jackson “had knowledge that Nayak would likely make such an offer once Representative Jackson authorized him to advocate on his behalf with Governor Blagojevich.”

— Natasha Korecki



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