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Councilmember-turned-crook Kwame Brown has been out of house arrest for nearly two years. Aside from a busy Instagram account, though, he’s mostly stayed out of public life. That changes today at 1 p.m., when the former D.C. Council chairman fills in on WPFW’s D.C. Politics Hour for host Eugene Kinlow, who’s running for the Ward 8 Council seat.
By coincidence, LL got a good chunk of the FBI’s file on Brown in the mail this week thanks to the Freedom of Information Act. There’s apparently a lot more to be had, but the Freedom of Information Act officer LL talked to made it clear that any more would take a lot more time and money. LL backed off, figuring Kwame Brown docs were three years past their expiration date.
Now that Brown is trying out punditry, though, let’s dive in. The files, unfortunately redacted to hide all the good stuff, show the FBI investigation into whether Brown funneled campaign money to brother Che Brown launched in 2011, about a month after the Office of Campaign Finance eyeballed the pair in an audit.
Justifying the investigation in a memo, agents note why Brown might get up to financial hijinks.
“Both Kwame and [redacted] have outstanding loans, multiple credit cards with merchants, and a history of poor financial management,” they write.
At the start of June 2011, the FBI had turned their inquiry into an official public corruption investigation, teaming up with the Ron Machen‘s U.S. Attorney’s Office. By July, they had started focusing on Brown’s boat—-the epically named “Bullet Proof.” Brown’s falsified loan application for the boat would help agents nail him on a bank fraud charge.
The FBI file shows agents regularly going through Brown’s trash in an effort to gather dirt on him. At one point, the agents plan to toss two unnamed peoples’ trash cans after they receive subpoenas, presumably to see what they would dump in a panic. In another, the agents note that they’ll have to photograph their trash can evidence and toss it, lest they hang on to “soiled” items.
Unfortunately, the FBI file is silent on the real mystery of the Brown investigation: why prosecutors ended up ditching much of their campaign work and went with the less serious bank fraud charge.