Bill Clinton’s lawyer asks President Obama to pardon Chaka Fattah

The ex-Congressman and the President have a history.

President Obama stands with Chaka Fattah at the State of the Union Address.

President Obama stands with Chaka Fattah at the State of the Union Address.

Wikimedia Commons

Chaka Fattah’s supporters are going straight to the top in a bid to get the ex-Philly congressmen out of his corruption charges: Barack Obama.

Earlier this month, Lanny Davis, Bill Clinton’s lawyer and spokesperson during the Lewinsky Scandal, and outspoken New Jersey pastor Rev. Dr. Therman Evans wrote a letter to Obama, asking for a Presidential pardon for Fattah.

Fattah is facing a 10-year prison sentence for corruption charges. He was convicted of accepting a bribe and using grant money to pay off an illegal campaign loan. His sentence begins January 25.

The letter begins with Davis and Evans stating they’ve known Fattah for 30 years. “Considering his record of service and the recognized irregularities in the process for this case I ask that you consider assisting Mr. Fattah, his family and those charged with him in finding relief through Presidential action.”

They go on to bring up several parts of the case Fattah’s lawyers have brought up as reasons for why he should  stay out of prison while he works on an appeal. These reasons include the dismissal of a juror on the first day of deliberations and flaws in the prosecution’s case, namely what they claim to be a lack of witnesses and evidence regarding, among other things, the illegal repayment of loans.

Last month, Obama announced a number of pardons, including former Pittsburgh City Councilman Sala Udin.

Fattah has had a close professional relationship with Obama over the years. During Fattah’s unsuccessful 2007 mayoral run, Obama, then an Illinois Senator, wrote a message Fattah used in an email blast to gain supporters. Even while the Feds were circling, Fattah flew with Obama on Air Force One to an NAACP conference in Philly.

Last April, as Fattah attempted to get re-elected to his Congressional seat, he used Obama’s voice on a robocall to prospective voters. The White House said Obama did not approve.

Fattah’s other attempts to stay out of prison have so far been unsuccessful. Earlier today, an appellate court judge rejected his motion to stay out of prison during his appeals process.


Thanks for reading another Billy Penn story

Seems you’re the kind of person who really digs in. Want more? Sign up for our free morning newsletter, the easy way to stay on top of Philly news.

Thanks for reading Billy Penn

Like the story above, everything we publish is powered by our members. If you enjoy reading, join today: Just $5/month makes more difference than you’d think.

Thanks for reading! We need you.

Reader donations power our newsroom. If Billy Penn helps you feel more connected to Philly, we’d love to count you as a member. Will you join us?

Lock in your support

Reader support powers our newsroom. A monthly membership helps lock it in.

Can we count on you as a Billy Penn sustainer?

Winning the local journalism game

Thank you: Member support powers our newsroom.

Know someone else who might like our work? Invite them to sign up for our free morning newsletter.