Fattah Due in Court Today
Congressman Chaka Fattah goes to court today, his first appearance since being charged with racketeering conspiracy, bribery and mail fraud. He has said he will fight the charges at trial.
Fattah and four associates were indicted last month for their alleged involvement in a racketeering conspiracy that involved misappropriating “hundreds of thousands of dollars of federal, charitable and campaign funds,” according to a statement by the U.S. Attorney. Among the schemes alleged, prosecutors claim that Fattah and some associates borrowed $1 million from a wealthy donor in connection with his failed 2007 mayoral bid and that he hid the money as a loan to a consultant. He repaid $400,000 after the campaign and allegedly arranged for a non profit to repay the rest, disguising the whole mess with fake contracts and false accounting entries and bogus campaign disclosure statements.
His court appearance comes a day after Fattah asked the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform to review federal prosecutors’ handling of his case. Fattah has dismissed the yearslong investigation and said he’s “never been involved in wrongdoing, any unlawful activity (or) any misappropriation of federal funds.” [AP]