Longtime Pennsylvania Rep. Chaka Fattah Found Guilty On All Corruption Charges

Rep. Chaka Fattah (D-Pennsylvania) was convicted in a federal court Tuesday on numerous charges, including bribery, money laundering, fraud, and racketeering, according to The Hill.

His sentencing is scheduled for October 4.

Fattah and four associates were charged with 29 counts in a July 2015 indictment, USA Today reports. The embattled congressman lost his re-election bid in February.

The Hill writes:

Fattah borrowed $1 million from a donor during his unsuccessful campaign for Philadelphia mayor and later repaid part of the loan by using funds from charitable and federal grants received by his nonprofit.

The Justice Department said Fattah also used funds from his mayoral and congressional campaigns to help pay off his son’s student loan debt.

He also accepted bribes while trying to secure an ambassadorship or appointment to the U.S. Trade Commission for former Philadelphia Deputy Mayor Herbert Vederman.

Additionally, the indictment said Fattah agreed to help award federal grant money to a political consultant in exchange for forgiving a $130,000 campaign debt. Fattah allegedly told the consultant to apply for a $15 million grant, which he did not receive.

A lawyer for Fattah proclaimed his innocence throughout the case, saying the felonious acts were committed by associates close to the lawmaker, who claims he was unaware of the misdeeds.

“I haven’t committed any crime,” Fattah said at a hearing in August. “I understand their desire to come after me … but to take innocent people, to take people in my family and to smear their good name – that says a lot about character, so I think that’s the most unfortunate part about this entire process.”

Fattah stepped down from his position as the head of the House Appropriations Subcommittee after his indictment last July. The Hill reports he may face pressure to relinquish his congressional seat before his term ends this year.

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest would not comment in regards to the charges, but said the conviction showed “good evidence” that federal investigators were able to pursue an outcome “irrespective of political affiliations.”

SOURCES: USA Today, The Hill | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty


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