Congressman Fattah denies criminal wrongdoing

Listen
 Philadelphia Congressman Chaka Fattah denies any wrongdoing while at the Dilworth Park ribbon-cutting ceremony Thursday. (Tom MacDonald/WHYY)

Philadelphia Congressman Chaka Fattah denies any wrongdoing while at the Dilworth Park ribbon-cutting ceremony Thursday. (Tom MacDonald/WHYY)

A Philadelphia congressman who appears to be in the sights of federal prosecutors is denying all wrongdoing.

Democratic U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah has been quiet about a former colleague’s guilty plea and a court filing accusing Fattah of orchestrating a secret loan to his 2007 campaign for Philadelphia mayor and then stealing federal funds to repay the loan.

Fattah has declined WHYY interview requests but at the opening of Dilworth Park Thursday, he denied committing a crime. 

“I’ve been an elected official for decades. In none of my years as an elected official have I ever been involved in any illegal conduct — period,” he said. “It’s been, as we well, know widely investigated for seven years. We will all have to wait and see how this unfolds as we go forward.”

Fattah, who has not been charged, raised questions about his accusers.

“If we are looking for illegal or improper activity, some might want to question whether there is any illegal activity in this investigation,” he said. “Whether the people who are pursuing these allegations are doing anything wrong … because I think there is ample reason to believe that, in their zest, that they may have crossed the line.”

A representative of the U.S. Attorney’s office, which announced the guilty plea by Fattah’s colleague and released a memo outlining his alleged wrongdoing, would not confirm the congressman is under investigation.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.