This time, the invitation didn't come by way of subpoena.
U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-IL) appeared in federal court Monday night, just one courtroom away from where he took the stand as a defense witness for former Gov. Rod Blagojevich.
Jackson was invited by the Northern District of Illinois -- as were all members of the Illinois delegation -- to talk about looming budget cuts expected to hit court personnel in Chicago and around the nation. So far, Jackson's the only one who accepted the invite, according to U.S. Court Clerk Michael Dobbins.
But as it goes for Jackson these days, he couldn't escape Blagojevich questions.
The congressman, who faces a House ethics inquiry, said he looked forward to going through the scrutiny and in response to a Robert Blagojevich salvo last month, said he doesn't know the man. He said a "relationship" with the ex-governor's brother was created by the media in the media.
"I don't know him. I have never had a conversation with him," Jackson said. "I wouldn't know him if he were in the audience," he added, scanning the crowd.
Robert Blagojevich last month offered to testify as part of Jackson's ethics probe, saying the congressman should answer questions about his role in the alleged sale of Barack Obama's vacant U.S. Senate seat.
As for the looming personnel cuts, Jackson said he would take the issues raised by court personnel back to Washington and reassured those attending that pensions already earned would not be touched. Dobbins, Chief Judge James Holderman, as well as courthouse personnel, attended.
Dobbins said court personnel across the country and in Chicago face more than 13 percent payroll reduction. Furloughs are under consideration here, he said.