Another domino appears to have fallen in the intricate web surrounding Philly Democratic party boss and Congressman Bob Brady with another guilty plea in federal court by a former aide.
Donald “D.A.” Jones, 62, a longtime political consultant, pleaded guilty Friday to lying to the FBI to conceal an alleged plot by Brady’s office to bribe a political rival into dropping out before the 2012 Democratic primary.
Brady has not commented beyond telling Daily News columnist that the scandal is “total bull.”
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But it was real to Jones, who was indicted in October along with fellow former Brady strategist Kenneth Smukler, 57 on charges of conspiring to conceal a $90,000 payment in 2012 from Brady’s campaign to retired Philly judge Jimmie Moore to drop out of the race for Brady’s seat.
“The scheme entailed Moore’s agreement to withdraw from the race in exchange for $90,000 in payments from his opponent’s campaign,” the U.S. Attorney’s office of Philadelphia said in a statement.
Smukler has not entered a plea. But Moore and his former campaign manager, Carolyn Cavaness, have both pleaded guilty to lying to the Federal Election Commission. They are both awaiting sentence while reportedly cooperating with the investigation.
The conspirators allegedly"used false invoices to generate a paper trail" that would make the $90,000 alleged bribe look like a legitimate payment in return for political polling services from “Voter Link Data Systems,” a company run by Smukler, who subsequently returned the funds to Brady, according to federal prosecutors.
Brady, who took office as congressman for the 1st District of Pennsylvania in the US House of Representatives since 1998, has chaired the local Democratic Party since 1986 and previously sat on the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission from 1991 until his election to Congress.
He has not yet been charged and media representatives of federal prosecutors as policy never confirm or deny if they are investigating any individual.
But a terrorism analyst recently published court documents he “stumbled upon” related to a FBI warrant for Brady’s private email, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Federal lawyers wrote in the application for the warrant that Brady is under investigation false statements, conspiracy, and campaign fraud, and said the email "is likely to contain evidence of these crimes."