Jury selection begins in Chaka Fattah trial

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Jury selection has begun in the federal corruption trial of Democratic U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah. (WPVI)

Jury selection is underway in the federal corruption trial of Pennsylvania Congressman Chaka Fattah.

The trial is starting less than a week after the 11-term representative lost the Democratic primary, ending his hopes for another term.

Fattah was a member of the ultra-powerful Appropriations Committee. He brought home millions in federal funds for housing, scholarships, and mass transit.

The charges against the 59-year-old and four allies include racketeering, wire fraud, mail fraud, bribery, bank fraud and money laundering. In all there are 29 counts against Fattah.

Fattah is accused of accepting bribes, misusing campaign funds and charitable grants to enrich his family and friends.

He has called the seven year FBI probe that has ensnared him a political witch hunt, and says he has done nothing wrong.

400 potential jurors are being screened. The trial itself could last eight weeks.

His son, Chaka Fattah Jr., is already in federal prison on corruption charges in connection with private sector scams.
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