In testimony, FBI agent takes jurors inside raid on Smukler's home

Steve Tawa
November 27, 2018 - 9:30 am
Ken Smukler outside the federal courthouse in Philadelphia

Steve Tawa/KYW Newsradio

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — At the campaign finance law violation trial of Ken Smukler at the federal courthouse in Philadelphia, his interaction with an FBI agent during a 2017 raid of Smukler's home is in focus, again.

FBI agent Carmen Dimario testified that, when they served a search warrant, he secretly recorded Ken Smukler but centered their discussion only on the 2014 campaign by Marjorie Margolies to reclaim her congressional seat. 

The agent told jurors the investigating team, at that point, wanted to keep as "covert" the look at the 2012 re-election campaign of Congressman Bob Brady. Smukler faces allegations that he helped cover up a deal to get a rival to drop his challenge to Brady. 

RELATED: Consultant at Ken Smukler's campaign finance trial says Bob Brady's rival 'had no political juice'

Neither Brady nor Margolies was charged. Margolies testified last week, under a grant of immunity from prosecution. The statute of limitations ran out on Brady. 

Among the other charges Smukler faces: concealing illegal contributions to Margolies' campaign, after she lost the Democratic primary, funneled through Smukler's business accounts. Prosecutors allege they violated federal limits on campaign contributions.

On the tape, Smukler repeatedly told the agent that he consulted with a lawyer, a former Federal Elections Commission chairman, who assured him the Margolies campaign moves were legal.