Politics

Aide to Bob Brady Faces More Charges

Ken Smukler is accused of hiding donations to former congresswoman’s campaign

An aide to Rep. Robert Brady, D-Pa., is facing additional charges related to former Rep. Marjorie Margolies’ 2014 campaign. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

An aide to Pennsylvania Rep. Robert A. Brady, already facing charges from Brady’s 2012 campaign, is facing additional charges of obstructing a federal investigation of former Rep. Marjorie Margolies.

Ken Smukler was charged last year in relation to a scheme to pay off one of Brady’s Democratic primary opponents in 2012.

But federal prosecutors have expanded their investigation of Smukler and accused him of  concealing campaign contributions in the former congresswoman’s failed run for the House in 2014, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

While not named in the case, Margolies fits the description of “Candidate C” described by federal prosecutors as a candidate who hired Smukler in 2014, the newspaper reported.

The indictment said Smukler encouraged the campaign to spend money he described as a refund for a media account that amounted to $78,750.

Prosecutors say the money was an unlawful contribution funneled through Smukler’s business account. Smukler was reimbursed two days after the contribution by someone identified as “Person 1.”

The indictment says Smukler repeated the process again when he raised $150,000 from a “Person 2” and wired the money from two of his companies to the campaign.

Smukler is also accused of trying to obstruct a Federal Election Commission investigation of Margolies, which was later dismissed.

Brady, a powerful figure in Pennsylvania Democratic politics and chairman of the Philadelphia Democratic Party, announced earlier this year that he would not seek re-election.

But Brady has denied any wrongdoing and has been quick to say that no charges have been filed against him.

Another former aide to Brady, Donald “D.A.” Jones pleaded guilty in December to covering up the $90,000 payment to get a Democratic challenger to Brady to drop out of the 2012 primary.

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