Former Imprisoned Congressman May Get New Trial
A federal appeals court in Philadelphia on Thursday overturned former Congressman Chaka Fattah’s bribery convictions -- arguing he deserves a new trial on five of the 29 charges a jury convicted him of two years ago. The decision may have offered a small measure of vindication but may not affect the decade-long sentence he received for other corruption-related crimes. Legal experts say it is unlikely that he will win his release ahead of a potential retrial. The ruling by a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit held that jurors in Fattah’s case had not been properly instructed on the legal definition of “political graft” -- one narrowed by a U.S. Supreme Court opinion issued in the case of former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell just days after they convicted the Congressman in 2016. It was not immediately clear whether prosecutors would seek to retry Fattah and Herbert Vederman, the Congressman’s wealthy benefactor, whose bribery convictions the Third Circuit also overturned Thursday. More here.