Was Bob McDonnell in Jail During Appeal? No. But Chaka Fattah Will...

Was Bob McDonnell in Jail During Appeal? No. But Chaka Fattah Will Be.


if there’s one thing about the case of former Congressman Chaka Fattah that’s strikingly different than what happened to Virginia’s former Governor Bob McDonnell it’s that the case.

CBS Philly is reporting this morning that a judge denied the former Pennsylvania Congressman’s request to be free as he appeals his conviction on racketeering.  When McDonnell waited for over a year for a prison sentence to begin after being convicted of corruption he was free as appeal after appeal was heard which is not unusual.

But there has been nothing routine about the Fattah case.  The case is the result of a seven year investigation that included Fattah’s son. The trial included a dismissed juror who later told a veteran investigative reporter, Ralph Cipriano, that he’d voted several times to acquit the former Congressman before being removed from the jury.  

During deliberations, the jury foreman in the Fattah case wrote to Judge Harvey Bartle saying:

“Juror No. 12 refuses to vote by the letter of the law. He will not, after proof, still change his vote. His answer will not change. He has the 11 of us a total wreck knowing that we are not getting anywhere in the hour of deliberation [yesterday] and the three hours today.”

The trial also included no direct evidence that presented by the prosecution that Fattah orchestrated a web of corruption in an effort to pay back a $1 million loan.  The trial was a similar type of prosecution seen in the McDonnell case, but the results and the decisions along the way have been quite different.  

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Lauren Victoria Burke
Lauren Victoria Burke is a writer, comms strategist and political analyst. She created Crewof42, a blog focused on African American members of Congress, in 2009. Ms. Burke also writes for NBC BLK, The Root, NNPA and is the Managing Editor of Politic365. As part of a diverse career in politics and media, she has served as a congressional staffer for the U.S. Senate Democratic Policy Committee, Communications Director for U.S. Rep. Andre Carson (D-IN) and Director of Communications for Justin Fairfax for Lt. Governor of Virginia. From 2014 to 2017, Ms. Burke appeared each Monday on NewsOneNow with Roland Martin on TVOne. Ms. Burke holds a B.A. in History from The American University. She was born and raised in New York. Email: LBurke007@gmail.com. Twitter: @LVBurke. IG: @laurenvburke. Periscope: @LVBurke