Citing Rod Blagojevich's upcoming retrial -- and a request by the U.S. Department of Justice -- a congressional ethics panel has once again stalled its inquiry into U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., according to a statement by the committee today.
"A retrial of former Governor Blagojevich has been set for April 20, 2011," the statement reads. "The Department of Justice has asked the Standards Committee to continue to defer consideration of this matter and the Standards Committee, following precedent, agreed to defer consideration of this matter at this time."
Last year, the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct said it would hold off on an inquiry into Jackson because of the initial Blagojevich trial. The former governor was convicted of just one of 24 counts, with a jury deadlocked on the remaining charges.
The committee was looking into whether Jackson or "an agent" offered Blagojevich money in exchange for an appointment to the U.S. Senate.
In September, the Chicago Sun-Times revealed that a longtime Jackson family friend and fund-raiser, Raghuveer Nayak, told authorities Jackson directed him to make a money offer to Blagojevich and that Jackson asked him to secretly pay to fly a "social acquaintance" to Chicago.
Nayak told federal investigators that in October 2008 Jackson asked him to relay to Blagojevich that the congressman would raise $5 million for the former governor in exchange for the Senate seat appointment and that the Indian community in Chicago would raise another $1 million.
Nayak also told authorities he paid for two airline trips for a "social acquaintance" of the Democratic congressman at Jackson's request, raising more potential ethical and questions for Jackson. Jackson apologized for the relationship, referring to it as a private matter. Jackson denied the Senate seat allegations, however.
After President Obama vacated his Senate seat in 2008, Blagojevich had sole authority to appoint his successor.