Democrats

Disgraced Dem Congressman Released From Prison Without Explanation

(Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images)

The United States Bureau of Prisons released a disgraced Democratic ex-congressman Thursday without explaining why he should not be out of prison with more than five years left on his sentence.

Former Pennsylvania representative Chaka Fattah was convicted on charges of bribery and corruption connected to his failed Philadelphia mayoral campaign, in which he accepted an illegal $1 million loan. But the Bureau of Prisons has not offered an explanation for the release, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. 

Fattah's time in Congress came to an end in 2016 when he, along with several associates, was indicted on federal racketeering and influence peddling charges. Fattah resigned from his seat in Congress following the indictment. A federal judge sentenced him to 10 years in prison on a wide range of charges including money laundering, racketeering, and bank fraud.

The sentence is the second-longest prison sentence ever given to a congressman, and Fattah appealed the decision twice in an effort to shorten his prison time. He successfully got his bribery charges overturned by an appeals court, but a federal judge kept his original 10-year sentence intact.

One potential reason for his early release is the concern over a coronavirus outbreak at the prison, according to the Inquirer. He was supposed to be released in August 2025.

Prior to his imprisonment, Fattah served in the House representing Pennsylvania's Second Congressional District for more than two decades from 1995 to 2016.

While in prison, Fattah still received taxpayer-funded federal pensions.