Dem congressman offers resignation after conviction

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Democratic Rep. Chaka Fattah of Pennsylvania offered his resignation from the House effective Oct. 3 following his conviction on charges of racketeering, fraud and money laundering. 
 
But House Speaker Paul Ryan called on Fattah to resign immediately. 
 
 In a statement late Wednesday, Ryan said the veteran Pennsylvania lawmaker had betrayed the trust of the House and his constituents. Ryan said he hoped Democratic leaders would join him in calling for Fattah's immediate resignation.
 
The congressman was convicted Tuesday in a racketeering case that largely centered on efforts to repay an illegal $1 million campaign loan.
 
His lawyers had argued that the schemes were engineered without Fattah's knowledge by two political consultants who pleaded guilty in the case.
 
The 59-year-old Democrat had been in Congress since 1995. But he lost his April primary and his bid for another term.
 
In a letter to Ryan, Fattah outlined accomplishments he produced in the House and wrote: "I'm very sad about the verdict the jury rendered yesterday and because of that, my resignation is effective Oct. 3, 2016. Despite my resignation I am working to clear my name of these charges and plan to mount an appeal."
 
   
 
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