Embattled Congressman Chaka Fattah, currently indicted on 29 counts of racketeering and fraud, has a message for his constituents in the 2nd Congressional District and the city of Philadelphia: He’s not going anywhere, and the charges against him are bogus.
“An editorial in the Inquirer says I should resign. I’m not resigning,” Fattah told WURD-AM host Solomon Jones in an interview Monday morning with the talk radio station. “That’s not a matter of defiance; I’ve been elected to serve out my term and I’m going to do that. And I’m going to run for re-election.”
The entire interview is below, and also available at this link.
Jones talked to Fattah for around 10 minutes by phone, asking a few questions but mainly letting Fattah take the floor for a rambling description of the charges he’s facing and his intent to fight them at a trial:
“If I say I’m innocent, in some media circles, I’m seen as being defiant,” Fattah said shortly after the interview started. “Let me say it like this: I’m provably innocent of all charges.”
Fattah cycled through a number of elected representatives who had faced indictment and been acquitted, including Pennsylvania Democrat Jack Murtha. But, despite Jones’ prodding, Fattah declined to address specifics in the indictment. “I don’t want to get in a pointed back-and-forth,” he said.
“Just because someone says something does’t make it so,” Fattah continued. “Let’s see how it goes, going forward. Those who believe in my work, I would suggest that they should have no fear whatsoever that any of this has any truth to it, and that it’s going to in any way be a distraction.”
Correction: The initial version of this story said that former Congressman Jack Murtha was a Republican; he was a Democrat.