Congresswoman Corrine Brown's new lawyer: No plea, this case is going to trial

Anne Schindler is on your side. 9/7/2016

JACKSONVILLE, Fla.—A week after her first electoral defeat, Congresswoman Corrine Brown was back in federal court Wednesday afternoon - this time with a new attorney.

James Wesley Smith III of Orlando will represent the veteran lawmaker at trial. She faces 22 counts of fraud and tax evasion.

Brown was composed and quiet entering court and for the first time since being indicted on federal corruption charges in July, her legal future, at least, seems set.

Smith is the third attorney to show up at court with Brown in the two months since her indictment and promised Magistrate James Klindt that he's in it for the long haul.

He said he'd followed Brown's career and long admired her. 

"We emphatically deny all the charges that are contained in the indictment," Smith said at court, promising a spirited defense.

This was the first time Brown was in court since last Tuesday's stunning primary defeat - the first in her career. She lost to Florida Representative Al Lawson from Tallahassee in Florida's fifth congressional district's Democratic primary.

When she spoke to reporters after court Wednesday, Smith said he believed the indictment was to blame.

"These charges are false and it's unfortunate these charges affected democracy and influenced the election," Smith said.

"I think the timing [of the indictment] was certainly unfortunate," Smith went on to say.

Smith was adamant the case would not end in a plea deal, adding this case would be going to trial.

As of now, the trial is set for November, but all sides agreed in court Wednesday they plan to ask for a continuance to at least February 2017.


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