Judge tells indicted Pa. congressman to rethink campaign focus

Written by The Associated Press | Jan 26, 2016 12:09 PM

(Philadelphia) -- A federal judge in Philadelphia has told indicted U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah to rethink his focus on raising money for re-election instead of his legal defense fund.

Fattah's four criminal lawyers asked the judge Tuesday to quit the case because they aren't being paid.

Fattah says he hopes to find a larger firm that can stretch out the payments. He says he's spent $300,000 during the nine-year FBI probe, but the government has spent millions.

The 11-term Democrat says he's innocent and should be free to focus on the primary.

Fattah is accused of taking bribes and misusing charitable donations and government grants.

U.S. District Judge Harvey Bartle doesn't want to delay the May 2 trial. He didn't immediately rule but questioned why other lawyers would risk not being paid.

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