June 23, 2016
WASHINGTON — Democratic Rep. Chaka Fattah of Pennsylvania will resign from the House immediately, according to a letter from his desk sent to Speaker Paul Ryan announcing his resignation.
"Today, after 21 years of service, Congressman Chaka Fattah (D-PA) tendered his resignation from the U.S. House of Representatives," it begins.
The decision follows Fattah's conviction on charges of racketeering, fraud and money laundering. On Wednesday, Fattah had offered his resignation effective Oct. 3. That apparently has changed.
The news also follows a push from House Speaker Paul Ryan calling for him 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.