Lawyer in Brady case says there are FBI recordings

U.S. Rep. Bob Brady

An associate of U.S. Rep. Bob Brady has pleaded guilty to lying in the probe of a $90,000 payment from Brady's campaign funds to a political rival. Brady says he has done nothing wrong. (Matt Rourke/AP Photo)

An attorney says there are FBI surveillance recordings in the investigation into allegations Philadelphia U.S. Rep. Bob Brady paid off a primary opponent’s campaign debt to get him out of the race.

Jeffrey Miller is the attorney for Jimmie Moore, the candidate who’s pleaded guilty to concealing payments Brady’s campaign made after Moore dropped his 2012 campaign for Brady’s Congressional seat. Moore has agreed to cooperate with prosecutors, who’ve said in court filings that those payments, totaling $90,000 were part of a deal to secure Moore’s withdrawal.

At his guilty plea hearing Monday, Moore said under oath that he’d committed acts described in a government plea memorandum, including meeting with Brady to see what he “was willing to offer” in exchange for Moore’s withdrawal from the race. The memorandum says the two struck a deal, and that Brady agreed to disguise his campaign committee payments to Moore as purchases of campaign materials and services.

Miller said in the hearing that Moore had been cooperating with prosecutors “for months.”

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After the hearing, Miller told reporters that the government has conducted dozens of interviews and electronic surveillance in investigating the case. “There’s a vast amount of evidence out there,” Miller said. “Whether it tends to point to Congressman Brady as doing something illegal, or tends to exculpate him, I don’t know.” Miller declined to say who may have been recorded.

Brady hasn’t been charged. He says he never cut a deal with Moore and didn’t do anything wrong.

Moore pleaded guilty only to a single count of filing a false campaign finance report, a crime that could result in a five-year prison sentence and a $250,000 fine. The sentence he receives will likely be influenced by prosecutors’ recommendations, based on the degree of Moore’s cooperation as the investigation continues. He won’t be sentenced until his cooperation is concluded.

Judge DuBois set January 11th as his sentencing date, though it could be postponed if his cooperation with prosecutors isn’t concluded.

Brady’s attorney James Eisenhower, has said that any financial help Brady offered from his committee to retire Moore’s campaign debt occurred after Moore had already decided to drop out of the race, and was not in exchange for Moore’s withdrawal.

I asked Miller, Moore’s attorney, after the plea hearing whether his client was prepared to testify that his withdrawal from the 2012 race was in exchange for the $90,000 pledge from Brady’s campaign.

Was it a deal, a quid pro quo?

Miller said he preferred to call it “an understanding.” “The understanding was that Brady would help him with campaign debts and that he would drop out of the race,” Miller said. “Now whether that’s a scheme or a quid pro quo is for others to figure out, not me. I don’t know.”

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story said that Moore’s plea memorandum was not made available Monday, and that the U.S. Attorney’s media office hadn’t responded to queries about it. In fact, the media office sent a copy of the plea memorandum late Monday, but we hadn’t yet received it.

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