Congressman Overseeing Sexual Harassment Settlements Investigated By FBI For Campaign Fraud

Rep. Bob Brady has been accused by the FBI of campaign fraud Reuters

Pennsylvania Congressman Bob Brady, who oversees the settlements paid by Congress for sexual discrimination complaints, is under FBI investigation for false statements, conspiracy and campaign fraud, documents showed Tuesday.

Brady, a Democrat, is a ranking member of the Committee on House Administration, which gives him power over settlement payments with taxpayer dollars. The office also works to prevent sexual harassment in Congress.

The court papers say the Brady campaign paid a former judge $90,000 to drop out of a 2012 primary race. The judge and onetime Brady rival, Jimmie Moore, was caught and pleaded guilty to falsifying his campaign finances to conceal the payment. Brady's camp claimed it knew nothing of Moore's attempts to conceal the donation, but Moore's lawyer disagreed.

"[Brady] and the defendant agreed and understood that the payment from [Brady's] campaign … would be disguised," attorney Jeffrey Miller said in court, "and the deception would include hiding at least some of [Brady's] funds as the purchase of a poll analyzing the primary matchup between [them], notwithstanding the fact that [Brady] was already in possession of this same poll."

The charges of campaign fraud are notable because Brady also oversees the Congressional committee that has jurisdiction over raising, reporting, and using campaign contributions for House candidates. Brady is also the chair of the Democratic Party of Philadelphia, which financially aides local candidates.

The FBI believes Brady is lying about his knowledge of the concealment and has obtained a search warrant for his emails. There is probable cause to believe that Brady and his associates "were involved in the commission of several crimes, including conspiracy, false statements, producing false records, false campaign contribution reports, and violating limits on campaign contributions and expenditures," the court papers say. "Brady's email account is likely to contain evidence of these crimes."

Brady's campaign associates were indicted last month, but this is the first time Brady has been named as a focus of the FBI investigation.

Brady, who assumed office in 1998, is known for paying close attention to his constituents. He often boasts about missing a phone call from former President Bill Clinton because he was helping a woman in his district fix her toilet.

Brady's office declined to comment on the case and directed Newsweek to his lawyer, who did not immedately comment.

Congressman Overseeing Sexual Harassment Settlements Investigated By FBI For Campaign Fraud | U.S.