Rep. Luis GutierrezLuis Vicente GutierrezThe Hill's Campaign Report: Democratic primary fight shifts to South Carolina, Nevada Democrats rally behind incumbents as Lipinski takes liberal fire Dem leader says party can include abortion opponents MORE (D-Ill.) on Wednesday was caught up in a long-running investigation into Chicago land deal politics when his hometown paper, the Chicago Tribune, published a story connecting a $200,000 loan Gutierrez received from a developer with the congressman's efforts to get the developer's project approved by the city.

The story, Part 6 in the paper's "Neighborhoods for Sale" series,

Gutierrez's office said the congressman was not part of the zoning probe and has not been contacted by authorities, and accused the Tribune of distorting the facts.

"The Chicago Tribune knows that there is no evidence of any kind that a letter of support sent by Congressman Gutierrez has drawn interest from investigators, and to suggest otherwise is wrong and irresponsible," Gutierrez's spokeswoman Rebecca Dreilinger said in a statement.

Gutierrez has been mentioned as a possible successor to Sen. Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaTrump defends golf outings: It's my 'exercise' How Trump can get his mojo back Trump confirms 2018 US cyberattack on Russian troll farm MORE (D-Ill.) if Obama wins the residency. Gutierrez, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus's policy chairman, is in his eighth term and was last elected with 86 percent.

Democratic leaders in the House had no immediate reaction to the story