Former D.C. Council member Michael Brown brushed off his money troubles for years but now his lawyer says they led him to take a $55,000 bribe. (Bill O’Leary/The Washington Post)

All the signs were there: Lawsuits, tax liens, missed rent payments, mortgage troubles. But Michael A. Brown brushed off his panoply of financial issues over the years, happy to let the perception bloom that he was a well-off guy who just had trouble with deadlines and paperwork. On Friday, however, a federal bribery charge revealed that Brown, in fact, had been experiencing “severe financial difficulty,” in his lawyer’s words, that led him to accept $55,000 from undercover agents. Some questions remain: What did he do for the money? What predicate did investigators have for targeting him with a sting? Could this be the first time Brown took a bribe or did other illegal favors? More is expected to be revealed this afternoon, when Brown enters his guilty plea. More from NYTWaTimesExaminerDCist.

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He’s hired some top-flight white-collar defense lawyers (Legal Times)

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