Reports: Feds Seek Fattah Emails

Investigators want to see seven years of congressman's correspondence.

Several outlets are reporting that federal investigators want to look at seven years’ worth of Chaka Fattah’s email.


An anonymous U.S. congressman — believed to be Rep. Chaka Fattah, D-Pa. — asked the Third Circuit on Monday to scuttle a search warrant ordering Google Inc. to turn over email records to federal investigators, arguing that his electronic communications discussing legislative actions were constitutionally protected.

But wait, why do we think it was Fattah? After all, as AP reports, “The case has been filed under seal, and the parties in open court on Monday referred to the congressman as John Smith. ”

The Inquirer points out that the defense attorney for the “unknown” congressman in Monday’s hearing, Luther Weaver III, also represents Fattah. And, the Inky noted, “the same prosecutors who have been identified as overseeing the Fattah investigation were listed in the appeals court docket.” Two of Fattah’s former allies have already pleaded guilty in the investigation, which focuses on possible improprieties in the repayment of a possibly impermissible campaign loan to Fattah’s 2007 mayoral campaign.

Fattah furthermore informed House Speaker John Boehner back in March that federal investigators had subpoenaed his office for unspecified documents; he said at the time that he would try to quash the subpoena.

The Inky says of Monday’s hearing:

Weaver said he learned of the prosecutors’ subpoena for the e-mails dating back to 2008 after Google told his client that federal investigators had asked for them.

He told the judges that his client should be allowed to review the e-mails, rather than letting investigators immediately have them. He said the e-mails also should be reviewed by a lawyer to prevent the release of information involving attorney-client privilege.

No word on when the court will rule on the request to quash.