The Latest: Congressman's wife mentioned in indictment

AP News
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Posted: Jul 29, 2015 4:17 PM
The Latest: Congressman's wife mentioned in indictment

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The latest developments surrounding the indictment of U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah (all times local):

3:45 p.m.

The racketeering indictment against U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah (SHAH'-kah fa-TAH') accuses his wife of helping hide an alleged $18,000 bribe from a lobbyist through a sham sale of her Porsche.

Renee Chenault-Fattah (sheh-NAHLT' fa-TAH') is a news anchor at NBC's Philadelphia affiliate. She is not named or charged in the case but is identified as the congressman's wife, "Person E" and a fellow conspirator.

The indictment says the Fattahs used $18,000 from the supposed sale of the 1989 Porsche 911 Carrera to help qualify for a 2012 mortgage on a vacation home.

Yet authorities say Chenault-Fattah continued to drive the Porsche.

The station says Chenault-Fattah is on leave.

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1:50 p.m.

Indicted U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah (SHAH'-kah fa-TAH') says he's never been involved in wrongdoing, unlawful activity or misappropriation of government funds.

A 29-count indictment returned Wednesday accuses the 11th-term Philadelphia Democrat of misusing hundreds of thousands of dollars of federal, charitable and campaign funds.

Fattah addressed the charges outside his Washington office shortly after they were announced in Philadelphia. He says it's important to his constituents that the case not be a distraction.

Fattah says he hasn't seen the indictment and doesn't plan on resigning from Congress.

He compared the case to the news that has dominated sports headlines about the New England Patriots using underinflated footballs. He says, "This is not Deflategate."

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1:10 p.m.

Pennsylvania Congressman Chaka Fattah (SHAH'-kah fa-TAH') is stepping down from his post as the top Democrat on a House panel following his indictment on corruption charges.

A 29-count indictment handed up Wednesday in Philadelphia accuses him of misappropriating hundreds of thousands of dollars of federal, charitable and campaign funds.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi calls the charges "deeply saddening."

She says Fattah has been a tireless advocate for American families for 20 years. But she says the 11-term congressman has rightly stepped down as ranking member on the House Appropriations subcommittee that oversees spending for Commerce, Justice, Science and related agencies.

Fattah has yet to comment on the charges. His lawyer was informed of the indictment only minutes before it was announced.

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11:30 a.m.

Pennsylvania Congressman Chaka Fattah (SHAH'-kah fa-TAH') has been indicted on charges he misappropriated hundreds of thousands of dollars of federal, charitable and campaign funds.

The 11-term Philadelphia Democrat was charged Wednesday with racketeering conspiracy, bribery, conspiracy to commit wire, honest services and mail fraud, and other charges.

Fattah has been the subject of a long-running federal investigation. Four others also have been charged, including people who worked for his campaign and congressional staffs.

Fattah's office had no immediate comment on the charges. It said it would issue a statement shortly.