The final days of the trial of U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah of Philadelphia have come. The trial was expected to last the whole summer, but it has now concluded after four weeks.
Maisha Leek, the former chief of staff and campaign fundraising director for Fattah, testified for the defense on Tuesday, June 7. According to Philly.com, Leeks was one of the most closely connected members of Fattah’s inner circle to testify so far; she has not been charged for any crime.
Leeks claimed that she knew nothing about the $1 million loan to maintain his 2007 mayoral campaign. Fattah’s former confidant also testified that Herbert Vederman, a lobbyist, was seeking an ambassadorship and allegedly bribing Fattah for his assistance.
On Wednesday, June 8, former Pa. Gov. Ed Rendell testified as a defense witness for Vederman. The former governor called Vederman a generous man and a “fine human being.” As for Fattah, Rendell stated, “If the allegations against the congressman are proven, he should be found guilty and go to jail. They’re serious charges.”
Rendell has testified as a defense witness in other recent high-profile cases including the former Pa. Sen. Vincent Fumo and Fattah’s son Chaka “Chip,” Jr.; both were convicted.
The closing arguments were made on June 14. The prosecutors accused the congressman of participated in white-collar crime splurge. Fattah’s lawyers hit back and painted the prosecutors as determined to damage and destroy the congressman’s reputation with little evidence to justify the prolonged investigation on Fattah.
After a month-long trial, a jury of four men and eight women will determine Fattah’s fate.
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