The federal corruption trial of U.S. Representative Chaka Fattah of Pennsylvania is to begin on Monday with opening statements, three weeks after he lost the Democratic primary election for his seat in the Philadelphia area.
Fattah, 59, is accused of misusing hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign, charity and federal grant money while engaging in a series of fraudulent schemes over several years.
In 2007, prosecutors say, Fattah accepted a secret $1 million loan from a wealthy benefactor for a mayoral campaign that would prove unsuccessful, then misappropriated charitable and taxpayer funds to pay it back.
He is also accused of accepting bribes in exchange for official acts and using campaign funds to repay his son’s student loan debt.
The son, Chaka Fattah Jr., was himself convicted of federal charges in November stemming from an unrelated bank fraud and later sentenced to five years in prison.
The elder Fattah, who has served in Congress since 1995, faced his first primary challenge in 20 years and lost his reelection bid in April.
The congressman has repeatedly maintained his innocence since his indictment was announced in July 2015.
Fattah faces a total of 23 charges, including racketeering, fraud, bribery, money laundering and conspiracy. Four associates of Fattah are also facing trial, which will take place in federal court in Philadelphia.
(Reporting by Joseph Ax; Editing by David Gregorio)
Trump asks the Supreme Court to save him from a criminal investigation
President Donald Trump asked the Supreme Court on Thursday to block Manhattan prosecutor Cy Vance from obtaining his tax records via a grand jury subpoena as part of a criminal investigation.
This appeal is the president’s last chance to avoid handing over the materials after the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit upheld the legitimacy of the subpoena. If the Supreme Court declines to take the case, Trump will be obligated to hand over his financial records and tax returns, which have been the subject of much speculation and controversy since he failed to release them during the 2016 campaign, despite his promise to do so.
Trump declares impeachment ‘dead’ — and demands apology — in late night Twitter outburst
President Donald Trump lashed out on his favorite social media platform late Thursday evening.
Eight minutes before midnight eastern time, Trump unloaded.
Trump wrote, "Democrats must apologize to USA: Ukrainian Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko said that 'United States Ambassador Gordon Sondland did NOT link financial military assistance to a request for Ukraine to open up an investigation into former V.P. Joe Biden & his son, Hunter Biden. Ambassador Sondland did not tell us, and certainly did not tell me, about a connection between the assistance and the investigation.'”
Trump did not say why he was taking the word of a foreign official over multiple sworn testimonies from members of his own administration.
Pelosi is ‘marrying up the facts and the law’: Ex-prosecutor says ‘bribery’ is a critical indictment of Trump
Speaker Nancy Pelosi was masterful in using the word "bribery" to describe President Donald Trump's actions with Ukraine that are at the heart of the impeachment inquiry, according to a former federal prosecutor.
MSNBC anchor Brian Williams interviewed former Assistant U.S. Attorney Berit Berger on Thursday evening's "The Last Word."
Please expand for us on why it is significant and why is it important to label this bribery," Williams said.
"So I think Nancy Pelosi was very specific in calling this bribery for two reasons," Berger replied.
"The first is that -- unlike quid pro quo -- ribery is something that most people understand, especially people who have children," she said, with a chuckle. "We all sort of have a general understanding of that."