The Washington Post

Making sure FBI can pay its (legal) bills?

FBI Director James Comey (AFP PHOTO/Jewel SamadJEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images FBI Director James Comey (JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

In Philadelphia, a congressman’s son pursued by the FBI sued the agency (and the IRS and Department of Justice) for just under $10 million in damages to his personal and professional reputation.

Meanwhile in Washington, his father, Rep. Chaka Fattah (D-Pa.) ensured FBI Director James Comey that the agency had Congress’s support.

Chaka Fattah, Jr., added the FBI to his month-old lawsuit on Tuesday. The next day, as the agency received its official summons, his father –  coincidentally the ranking Democrat on the appropriations subcommittee that oversees Justice Department funding – was face-to-face with the FBI director.

“We want to make sure that the one issue that you’re not focused on is money,” Fattah told Comey. “And our job is to appropriate the money, so we need to hear from you today about what it is that you see that you need so that we can find a way to provide it.”

(Like a few extra million to settle a lawsuit?)

In 2012, the younger Fattah’s Center City Philadelphia apartment and office were raided by the feds as part of a criminal investigation into his finances. In a 51-page complaint he filed himself with the U.S. District Court, Fattah claims federal officials unlawfully leaked the raid to Philadelphia media, resulting in a “virtual storm of negative publicity.” He’s suing for “emotional distress,  loss of income … significant and actual economic harm to his reputation.”

The FBI does not confirm or deny the existence of an investigation. A spokeswoman in the FBI’s Philadelphia field office said she could not comment on pending litigation.

We asked Rep. Fattah about his ultimate political struggle – for love or country. In an e-mail to the Loop (complete with hyperlinks), he said:

Attorney General Holder and FBI Director Comey appreciate my work and commitment to funding their respective agencies. As a Member of Congress, I swore an oath to protect every American’s constitutional rights. My son, who I love, is no exception.”

 

Colby Itkowitz is the lead anchor of the Inspired Life blog. She previously covered the quirks of national politics and the federal government.

The Freddie Gray case

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!

Campaign 2016 Email Updates

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!

Get Zika news by email

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!
Comments
Show Comments
The Democrats debate Thursday. Get caught up on the race.
The big questions after New Hampshire, from The Post's Dan Balz
Can Bernie Sanders cut into Hillary Clinton's strength in the minority community and turn his challenge into a genuine threat? And can any of the Republicans consolidate anti-Trump sentiment in the party in time to stop the billionaire developer and reality-TV star, whose unorthodox, nationalistic campaign has shaken the foundations of American politics?
Clinton in New Hampshire: 2008 vs. 2015
Hillary Clinton did about as well in N.H. this year as she did in 2008, percentage-wise. In the state's main counties, Clinton performed on average only about two percentage points worse than she did eight years ago (according to vote totals as of Wednesday morning) -- and in five of the 10 counties, she did as well or better.
Upcoming debates
Feb. 11: Democratic debate

on PBS, in Wisconsin

Feb 13: GOP debate

on CBS News, in South Carolina

Feb. 25: GOP debate

on CNN, in Houston, Texas

Campaign 2016
Where the race stands

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.