By Steve Tawa

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Chaka Fattah Jr. will have an opportunity Thursday to cross-examine an FBI agent who made a surprise disclosure at Fattah’s bank and tax fraud trial. Then he will call some big names in his defense, like former Governor Rendell and former Mayor Street.

An FBI Agent, the lead investigator, acknowledged tipping off an Inquirer reporter just before agents used search warrants to raid the home and office of the defendant in 2012. Because of the revelations, Fattah asked for time to prepare his cross-examination, and the judge excused jurors early Wednesday:

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“FBI agent Richard J. Haag disclosed to the media information that was protected by the grand jury.”

Haag made it clear that he did not share grand jury material.

The agent also testified Fattah Jr. leaked info to the same reporter, because the agent says she asked questions that he knows only Fattah knew.


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Fattah Jr. filed a $10-million civil lawsuit against various federal agencies claiming that following the raids, media coverage unfairly damaged his reputation and career.

Representing himself at trial, Fattah plans to call former Governor Ed Rendell as his first witness:

“The governor will recall that I was the official photographer for his 2002 gubernatorial campaign,’ he says.

Fattah also expects John Street to take the stand about his work for the former Mayor during special events:

“Mayor Street will remember that I was his photographer, that his campaign received extreme value.”

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The 32-year-old is accused of defrauding banks, the IRS, the Philadelphia School District and clients out of thousands of dollars between 2005 and 2012.