Feds: For Fattah and fund-raiser, friendship had its privileges
For weeks, defense lawyers have portrayed U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah and wealthy political fund-raiser Herbert Vederman as the best of friends - a "political odd couple" who forged a personal bond despite backgrounds that could not be more different.
On Wednesday, prosecutors in the two men's federal corruption trial sought to show that the friendship came with privileges.
Witnesses ranging from Vederman's girlfriend to the man who ran President Obama's 2012 reelection campaign testified that Fattah had on several occasions extended his influence to benefit Vederman, his loved ones, and his ambitions.
In exchange, prosecutors say, Vederman showered the congressman with gifts, including cash payments to his children and college tuition for his au pair.