U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah told a radio host that he is “provably innocent” and that he will not resign amid corruption allegations.
Fattah did not respond to any specific allegations contained in the federal indictment against himin a 10-minute interview with WURD-AM host Solomon Jones, calling the charges mere accusations.
“Just because someone says something doesn’t make it so,” Fattah said.
The interview cameone week after Fattah was indicted in a federal corruption investigation.
According to the 85-page, 29-count indictment, Fattahand four associatesaccepted bribes in exchange for helping a campaign donor obtain an ambassadorship, enriched himself and others with federal grants, andviolated campaign finance laws.
The chargesspurred the Philadelphia Inquirer’s editorial board to call for the congressman’s resignation, arguing that he’ll be so busy trying to prove his innocence that he won’t have time for public service.
“I’ve been elected to serve out my termand I’m going to do that and I’m going to run for reelection,” Fattah said.
The charges follow years of scrutiny. Fattah says federal investigators have been sniffing around for eight years.
Two political advisors, Gregory Naylor and Thomas Lindenfeldhave pleaded guilty in related cases and are expected to testify against Fattah.
Fattah’s son, Chaka Fattah Jr. was charged last year with bank fraud, tax evasion and overbilling the school district.
“The one thing I agree with the U.S. attorney on is that an indictment is merely an allegation,” Fattah said — echoing a common if legalistic refrain contained in the press releases of federal prosecutors.