Loose Lips

Howard Brooks Charged With Lying to the FBI

Howard Brooks Charged With Lying to FBI

Things just keep getting worse for Mayor Vince Gray.

Howard Brooks, who worked as an aide both for Gray's campaign and transition, has been charged in federal court on a single charge of making a false statement to the FBI. The type of court filing used indicates that Brooks will almost certainly plead guilty, which is hardly a surprise considering he very likely wore a wire and helped the FBI in their investigation.

Brooks first broke onto the scene last spring, when an angry and recently unemployed Sulaimon Brown took a wild story about being paid with cash to run for mayor, then promised a city job, to the Washington Post. Brown told the Post that Brooks and Gray's campaign chairwoman Lorraine Green gave him cash-stuffed envelopes in return for attacking then-Mayor Adrian Fenty on the campaign trail. It turns out, we all know by now, that Brown wasn't kidding.

From the beginning Brooks seemed to know he was in trouble. Check out his apperance in that first Post story:

Brooks initially said he met Brown during town hall meetings and didn't remember calling him. Told about the phone records, Brooks said that he talked to several candidates during the election and that he reached out to Brown to compliment him on his performance during a debate. "He came off the stage, and I told him how clever it was," said Brooks, who declined to comment further without an attorney present.

Brooks went into lockdown mode after that. He didn't talk to the press, and he skipped the D.C. Council's public investigation of Brown's claims. A month after the Post story ran, Brooks lied to FBI agents.

Yesterday, Gray's de facto campaign treasurer Thomas Gore pleaded guilty to making illegal money order payments to Brown's campaign with the help of "Person A," who is almost certainly Brooks. The court records appear to indicate that when Gore and Person A talked on Sept. 22, 2011, about what to tell the FBI about the Sulaimon saga, the conversation was recorded.

All that cooperation has apparently led to a light charge, and probably a very light sentence. Brooks' attorney, Glenn Ivey, was not immediately available for comment. He's likely to appear in court tomorrow.

Brooks' court records, after the jump:

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Photo by Darrow Montgomery

  • truth hurts

    Far, far more to come, folks.

    And not just regarding the Gray campaign's illegal S. Brown payoffs.

    One City. Character. Integrity. Leadership.

  • Robin

    Can we go after the real criminals now and leave these men and woman (Gore, Brooks and Greene) alone? There are bigger fish to catch that are doing real harm.

    To all of you reporters, get to work. This stuff is minor compared to what you should be investigating and writing about. Time to move on.

  • NE John

    Tar and feather the whole city council and march them off the side of the 14th Street Bridge. We could do it during the Chuck Brown ceremonies!

  • George52

    Gray turned to insiders, cronies and incompetents to run his campaign and set his administration up, and he still has not recovered from those early missteps, and probably never will. These aren't high crimes and misdemeanors along the lines of Watergate, Iran-Contra, and the invasion of Iraq, just shabby, amateurish, and worst of all, silly things they thought they could get away with because they never expected to be held accountable to genuinely high standards. Which is how Gray has governed. Impeccable qualifications don't seem to be his highest priority in hiring decisions - which is worrisome if he decides not to reappoint Gandhi as CFO. Sigh. Disappointed, but can't honestly say I'm surprised.

  • @SamuelMoore

    Just wait until the Kwame campaign stuff hits the fan...

  • EnoughAlready

    To the eternal Gray apologists like Robin, these people are being charged with real crimes that undermine the real trust and integrity of our local government. Their behavior speaks to an arrogance with which this administration has governed from day one. Let's put our kids into high paying non-competitive positions. The Mayor's kids, although gainfully employed, feed their entertainment needs at the public trough. Do I even need to mention the incompetent friends of the Mayor that serve in critical cabinet positions? Media outlets are publicizing this shameful behavior because the public has a right to know. Keep it coming. Maybe one day we will wake up and elect people worthy of our trust to actually govern the city. God knows we deserve it.

  • Anonymous, Too

    "Far, far more to come, folks."

    Let's hope so, but I wouldn't hold my breath. We still haven't aired all the dirty laundry from the last two administrations. The fact that Marion Barry still continues to "serve" on the City Council doesn't bode well either.

    "God knows we deserve it."

    We don't "deserve" anything, we earn it. Our current government is a reflection of how much effort we've put into finding and electing trustworthy officials.

  • James Ward 2

    RT Anonymous, Too "Our current government is a reflection of how much effort we've put into finding and electing trustworthy officials."

    To add, indeed our current government is also a reflection of how much effort those voters of Ward 5 (Harry Thomas, Jr), Ward 7 (Gray and K.Brown) and Ward 8 (Marion Barry) put into electing OneCitIdiots!

  • ben

    @ Robin: "Time to move on"? Seriously? This is just starting to get interesting! Keep it coming, LL, ignore the apologists.