“I am innocent of each and every one of these allegations,” Congressman Chaka Fattah said confidently to a group of reporters outside of federal court in Philadelphia today. He pled “not guilty” today in federal court.
On July 29, the Congressman and others were charged in what federal prosecutors allege was a scheme to conceal payments for an allegedly false loan for a Mayoral campaign in 2007 via false contracts through various entities.
As recent corruption cases go, the charges brought by U.S. Attorney Zane Memeger are complex and would appear on first read to be difficult to explain easily in court. Indictments of former Reps. Duke Cunningham, Gov. Bob McDonnell and former House Speaker Dennis Hastert feature details of corruption that feature a direct and clear path to the featured charges. The government’s allegations against Fattah are complex and stretch over almost eight years.
In a video released this evening, the Congressman discuss the charges a day after it was reported that he wrote a letter to congressional leaders regarding what he believes are problems in the government’s case. In the video Rep. Fatttah also pointed out several popular legislative initiatives he’s created over the years that have impacted the lives of his constituents.
As a member of the House Appropriations Committee, Rep. Fattah is one of the most powerful members of Congress given his say in matters of Appropriations. He is easily one of the most powerful African American members of Congress having had influence over federal spending targeted to problems disproportionately impacting Africa Americans.
“We’re going to prove that I’m innocent of these charges,” Fattah says in the video. “I would never be involved in mindless illegality, you need to know as we move forward that, as has been said before, history is most qualified to reward us,” he went on to add. The alleged charges in a 29-count indictment made public on July 29, 2015, also implicated former staff members and the former with crimes and links Fattah’s
The investigation of Fattah went on for at least eight years.
Rep. Fattah wrote a letter asserting there have been, “misdeeds in multiple recent cases targeting Members of Congress,” to the Chair and ranking members of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.