Hillary Clinton may have dodged an indictment last week, but one of her closest super delegates wasn’t so lucky.
The Clinton campaign has gone into panic mode after Democratic congresswoman and trusted super delegate Corinne Brown was arrested and indicted on 24 counts of fraud and other federal charges. She is now facing 300 years in prison.
U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown of Florida and her chief of staff pleaded not guilty Friday to multiple fraud charges and other federal offenses in a grand jury indictment unsealed after an investigation into what prosecutors call a phony charity turned into a personal slush fund.
Brown, a 69-year-old Democrat, and Chief of Staff Elias “Ronnie” Simmons, 50, entered pleas in Jacksonville federal court on charges of mail and wire fraud, conspiracy, obstruction and filing of false tax returns.
House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, who called the charges against Brown, “deeply saddening,” said that for more than two decades “Brown has served her constituents in Florida with passion and energy. She has been a champion for America’s veterans.”
The 24-count indictment comes after an investigation into the purported charity One Door for Education Foundation Inc., which federal prosecutors say was billed as a way to give scholarships to poor students but instead filled the coffers of Brown and her associates.
After the hearing, Brown predicted, she would be cleared at trial. She was surrounded by supporters outside the courthouse, some carrying signs. One read, “Justice or else. Corrine matters.”
Brown and Simmons, of Laurel, Maryland, were both released on $50,000 bail and ordered not to travel outside the U.S. A status hearing was set for July 26. Simmons, who has been Brown’s chief of staff since 1993, declined comment after the hearing.