Congressman Chaka Fattah was indicted on Wednesday, July 29, 2015. The 29-count indictment alleges he and a group of his associates were involved in a racketeering conspiracy.
[Rep. Chaka] Fattah was indicted Wednesday in a racketeering case stemming from the alleged misappropriation of hundreds of thousands of dollars in federal, charitable and campaign funds after his failed 2007 run for mayor.
The 11th-term Democrat led a conspiracy that engaged in bribery, fraud, money laundering and other crimes, and netted him hundreds of thousands of dollars, federal investigators said.
Prosecutors said the charges covered several schemes, including the use of federal grants and charitable contributions to Fattah’s educational foundation to pay back $600,000 of a $1 million loan from a wealthy campaign supporter and arranging a federal grant in lieu of a $130,000 payment to a political consultant.
Thursday on NewsOne Now, Roland Martin talked with Bob Bogle, President/CEO of the Philadelphia Tribune, WURD’s Nick Taliaferro, host of The Nick Taliaferro Show, and former Justice Department Prosecutor Paul Butler about the 29-count indictment filed against Fattah.
In a soundbite that aired on NewsOne Now, Rep. Fattah tells reporters, “I’ve never been involved in any wrongdoing, any unlawful activity, any misappropriation of federal funds.”
Bogle told Martin on NewsOne Now that people in Philadelphia are “disappointed” by the charges being levied against Fattah.
“I believe as Philadelphians and Pennsylvanians, we are disappointed that this has happened and Congressman Fattah has been a good congressman for Pennsylvania — Philadelphia and Pennsylvania — I think for this nation.”
Taliaferro said callers to his show expressed a “level of earned suspicion” and general sense of mistrust regarding “any type of governmental action against an elected official who happens to be Black.”
Taliaferro also told Martin Rep. Fattah’s son, Chaka Fattah Jr., called into The Nick Taliaferro Show to talk about his indictment and his father’s indictment. According to Taliaferro, Fattah Jr. perceives that these indictments are “just another political attack.”
Taliaferro summed up the sentiment of his audience, saying, “Our callers are aware of the fact that there is a possibility of human culpability, but they also recognize that the government has found itself on the shadier side of the prosecutions when it comes to Black officials.”
Watch Roland Martin, Bob Bogle, Nick Taliaferro, and Paul Butler discuss the 29-count indictment against Rep. Chaka Fattah in the video clip above.
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