FBI special agent Jonathan R. Szeliga filed a search warrant request recently in the U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. The FBI is investigating Rep. Bob Brady (D-Penn.) on charges of conspiracy, false statements, and campaign fraud. It is alleged that Brady’s campaign made payments to his 2012 Democratic primary opponent Jimmie Moore so as to persuade the latter to step out of the race in Pennsylvania’s First Congressional District.
Special Agent Szilega noted in the court documents that he has “probable cause to believe that Kenneth Smukler, Robert Brady, Donald ‘D.A.’ Jones, Jimmie Moore, and Carolyn Cavaness and others known and unknown have committed violations” including charges of conspiracy, false statements, producing false records, causing false campaign contribution reports and violating limits on campaign contributions and expenditures.” Pennsylvania’s First Congressional District includes central and south Philadelphia.
Let’s break some news: A sitting member of Congress is being investigated by the FBI for false statements, conspiracy, and campaign fraud. They got a search warrant for his email and believe he’s lying. pic.twitter.com/YyT6WDABkX— Seamus Hughes (@SeamusHughes) November 21, 2017
In October, Smukler and Jones were charged in a campaign finance probe involving Brady’s 2012 re-election. Federal prosecutors in Philadelphia charged that Smukler and Jones devised the scheme to induce Moore to drop out of the race. They charged that the Brady campaign illegally gave $90,000 to Moore. Both Smukler and Jones face charges of conspiracy and lying to the FBI. Moore and a campaign aide have already pleaded guilty. Prosecutors allege that the money from the Brady campaign was to pay off Moore's campaign debt.
In Special Agent Szilega’s search warrant request, he wrote: "The investigation has uncovered evidence which indicates that Brady, Smuckler, and Jones utilized Smukler's and D.A. Jones' corporations to conceal payments from Brady's campaign to repay Moore campaign debts in exchange for Moore's agreements to withdraw from the 2012 Democratic primary race against Brady for U.S. Representative in Pennsylvania's 1st District. The evidence shows that these concealed payments were made for the purpose of removing Brady's primary opponent from the race and willfully undermining various provisions of the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA) in the process."
The court document continued, "As discussed in detail below, these goals were accomplished by routing three payments totaling $90,000 from Brady's campaign through political consulting companies to the campaign manager for Moore's campaign, who used a portion of the funds to pay debts owned by the Moore campaign, keeping the remainder of the money for herself and Moore."