News

Pa. congressman's lawyers ask to quit fraud case before trial

Written by The Associated Press | Jan 26, 2016 1:35 AM
chaka_fattah3.jpg

In this photo taken May 7, 2015, Rep. Chaka Fattah, D-Pa. speaks in Philadelphia. A powerful House committee is weighing legislation that would slash funds for Amtrak by 18 percent just hours after a deadly train crash in Philadelphia. Fattah, a Democrat representing Philadelphia, is expected to offer a $1.3 billion amendment to fully fund Obama's Amtrak's request but it's likely to fail because it would break budget limits. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

(Philadelphia) -- A federal judge is set to decide if lawyers for indicted Pennsylvania Congressman Chaka Fattah can quit the racketeering case months before trial because of the lawmaker's apparent financial woes. 

Fattah says he has paid them $100,000 since they signed on five months ago.

He says he's spent $300,000 overall fighting the lengthy FBI probe. 

The indictment accuses the 11-term Philadelphia Democrat of using federal grants and charitable donations to repay an illegal $1 million campaign loan.

He's also accused of funneling campaign money toward his son's student loan and accepting cash bribes. 

Fattah has vowed to fight the charges at the May trial. 

Current lawyers Kevin Mincey and Thomas Fitzpatrick have a flurry of motions pending that seek to dismiss much of the case.  

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