JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The federal trial against former Congresswoman Corrine Brown starts Wednesday. We spoke with Brown on Saturday about the trial and how she’s handling being in the spotlight for crimes she claims she never committed.
Longtime Florida Congresswoman Corrine Brown was indicted on multiple federal corruption charges nearly a year ago.
She's accused of raising money for a fake charity and allegedly spending it for personal use.
Former Congresswoman Corrine Brown sat down with First Coast News reporter, Steven Dial, on Saturday. Below is the transcript from the interview:
Steven Dial: Congresswoman thank you for taking time to talk with us. We are now less than two days out, what are your feelings right now?
Corrine Brown: I am ready. This has been a chapter in my life that I am looking forward for it to end, and as my Pastor, Rudolph McKissick Sr., said, I am going through this. This has been a very tough time for me, my family, my constituents and friends.
Steven Dial: Talk about the last year, year and a half for you.
Corrine Brown: It’s been tough. It has been very difficult. The key is, someone told me you find out who your friends are. I have a lot of friends and everywhere I go people tell me that they are praying for me.
Steven Dial: I know there are certain things you cant talk about. I talked to you a while ago and you said this is convenient when you were running for re-election.
Corrine Brown: 30 days before the election they indicted me. That was intentional. It affected the election because people who did not know me, did not know my work and the new district. They knew what they were doing when they indicted me 30 days before the election.
Steven Dial: You said this is a witch hunt.
Corrine Brown: Yes, I still do.
Steven Dial: Why?
Corrine Brown: Well, the key is that we are getting ready to go to court. Proverbs says the prosecution sounds great when you hear their case. I am looking forward to telling my story. I am looking forward to telling my side of the story.
Steven Dial: There is a laundry list of witnesses, you have Jesse Jackson, Martin Luther King III, heads of companies here in Jacksonville. The federal government is trying to build a big case against you.
Corrine Brown: They have unlimited resources. I have had to sell my beach house that I share with my brother. I had to take my retirement money. I will do whatever I have to do to clear my name. When you are born you get a birth certificate, when you die you get a death certificate and that dash in the middle shows what you have done. I have devoted 34 years of my life to serve my constituents. I am going to clear my name. On my tombstone it will not say felon, guilty. The idea that you want to give me 350 years, the terrorist that killed more people in the United States in Orlando, if he were alive he wouldn’t get 350 years. Let the work I’ve done speak for me. We will have people coming in telling about my work. Factual. The prosecutors have a side but the defense, my team, we are ready.
Steven Dial: The federal government has video from ATMs. Anything dealing with the charity, what do you want to say to your constituents?
Corrine Brown: Thank them for their support and prayers. The people that know me, it is not a question. The people that know me, they know my work.
Steven Dial: You are not guilty?
Corrine Brown: Not guilty. Not guilty. That is the key.
Steven Dial: This must take a toll on you?
Corrine Brown: Absolutely, I've had counseling, medication, this has been a tough time in my life but I am looking at this as a chapter in my life and moving forward.
Jury selection for the trial starts Monday. The federal trial against Corrine Brown begins Wednesday.