It's not every day that a frequent White House guest and political ally of the president is indicted on public corruption charges. But Rep. Chaka Fattah, D-Pa., who was indicted Wednesday by the Department of Justice, has been to the White House dozens of times to meet with President Barack Obama, according to public visitor logs.
Fattah was charged in a 29-count indictment with a scheme to use federal grant money to help pay off a campaign debt, among other charges. Deputy Press Secretary Eric Schultz declined to comment on the indictment Wednesday, citing the administration's policy of not commenting on criminal cases. Fattah, whose visits to the White House did not end during the lengthy federal investigation into the financial dealings surrounding his failed 2007 campaign to be mayor of Philadelphia, is listed as having been to the White House 33 times under the name Chaka Fattah, and variants of that name appear several more times in the logs (for comparison, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., has made at least 117 White House visits through 2014).
The president is listed about 30 times as the person Fattah met with, although many of those visits appear to be part of Obama's regular meetings with the Congressional Black Caucus or other larger congressionally-focused events.
Fattah has been a prominent member of the CBC, and in 2013 and 2014 he introduced Obama at CBC Foundation awards dinners. (At the 2014 gala, Obama paid tribute to Attorney General Eric Holder.)
The video of the 2013 gala is at the bottom of this post.
Fattah also helped campaign for and with Obama and has flown with the president on Air Force One.
Schultz said the president was not aware an indictment was coming when Fattah flew on Air Force One.
Under Democratic Caucus rules, Fattah must give up his position as the ranking member of the Appropriations subcommittee with jurisdiction over criminal justice and science spending. For the past two years he had at least partly held the pursestrings for the department that was investigating him and had also charged his son Chaka Fattah Jr. and a top campaign aide.