Law360 Quotes Stanley Brand Following Conviction of Rep. Chaka Fattah

Stanley Brand, senior counsel in the litigation practice at Akin Gump, was quoted in the Law360 article “Fattah Case Stirs Political Criminalization Fears” following the conviction of Rep. Chaka Fattah on federal racketeering charges.

The 10-term congressman, as the article reports, was found guilty on each of the 21 counts with which he was charged that accused him of conspiring with political allies and staff members in a series of schemes to advance their political and financial interests. His conviction comes as both the U.S. Supreme Court and the Pennsylvania Supreme Court weigh major appeals from public officials who say they were wrongly prosecuted for political activities because of the misapplication of certain laws.

“The courts are struggling to give clear guidance on how far these statutes can reach, and they’re going to be facing more of these questions,” said Brand, a former general counsel to the U.S. House of Representatives.

On the other hand, Brand noted that the government’s appetite for public corruption cases in recent years means that public officials must be very careful that their activities are completely beyond reproach. “What I’m saying is there are now more and more limitations and restrictions on what politicians can and cannot do. We’re in an era where public officials are closely scrutinized.”