PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Rep. Robert Brady, D-Pa., is a target of FBI scrutiny in an investigation into payments his campaign allegedly made to his opponent in 2012 to encourage him to drop out of the race, CBS News reports.
According to an approved search warrant application filed in U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and obtained by CBS News, Brady is mentioned as suspected of criminal wrongdoing in the probe.
Last month, two campaign aides to longtime Philadelphia Congressman Bob Brady made their first appearance in federal court following a grand jury indictment, charging the pair with conspiracy and related offenses. The government says Ken Smukler and Donald Jones paid off Brady’s 2012 political rival, and tried to hide it.
Prosecutors say Smukler and Jones sent a total of $90,000 to an aide of Brady’s opponent, Jimmie Moore, so Moore would drop out of the race, and they say the pair tried to disguise the cash as an election poll. Brady has not been charged, and maintains his innocence.
But CBS News says the search warrant application has “probable cause to believe that Kenneth Smukler, Robert Brady, Donald D.A.’ Jones, Jimmie Moore, and Carolyn Cavaness and others known and unknown have committed violations,” including conspiracy, false statements, and causing false campaign contribution reports, and limits on campaign contributions and expenditures.
Brady’s office has not commented on being named in the FBI probe.