PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Two political consultants have pleaded not guilty in a widening campaign finance probe involving the 2012 re-election of Democratic U.S. Rep. Bob Brady.
Kenneth Smukler and Donald Jones made their first appearance in federal court in Philadelphia on Wednesday on charges including conspiracy and lying to the FBI.
Federal prosecutors say Smukler and Jones orchestrated a scheme in which the Brady campaign made an illegal $90,000 donation to the campaign of a rival candidate to induce him to drop out of the race.
Lawyers for Smukler and Jones don’t deny that both men helped move money to former Philadelphia Municipal Court Judge Jimmie Moore, but they say that neither of them did anything illegal.
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Brady has denied wrongdoing and hasn’t been charged.
Moore and his campaign aide already have pleaded guilty.