After eight days of government testimony in his federal bank and tax fraud trial, one thing has become abundantly clear: Chaka "Chip" Fattah Jr. can talk a blue streak.
And he promised there's more in store Wednesday, as he is set to begin presenting his defense - a case he hopes can keep him out of prison.
In an interview Tuesday, Fattah, 32, offered a preview, saying a host of witnesses - all former satisfied customers - are ready to vouch for him as a successful owner of moneymaking ventures, notably a photography firm and a personal concierge service for well-heeled clients.
Among clients he said he has lined up to testify: at least one elected official. Fattah refused to name that person.
Though, as he continued to talk, he rattled off a list of names that included State Sen. Vincent Hughes (D., Phila.), former Mayor John F. Street, U.S. Rep. Robert Brady (D., Pa.), and former Gov. Ed Rendell - all of whom Fattah said had paid him for work in the past. One of them, he said, had agreed to testify on his behalf.
One person who won't be speaking to jurors from the witness stand? Fattah himself. He all but ruled out testifying in his own defense, later adding: "Well, we'll see."
As he laid out his detailed plans to reporters during a break Tuesday afternoon, prosecutors and FBI agents sat feet away listening in - much as they have done since the start of their investigation.
They have alleged that Fattah, son of U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah (D., Pa.), scammed banks, his own clients, and the Philadelphia School District out of thousands of dollars paid to his thinly defined companies between 2005 and 2012.
But throughout their presentation to jurors, they have repeatedly relied on Fattah's own words to buttress their case.
Last week, prosecutors played a series of 2011 FBI recordings in court of Fattah boasting to his old college roommate about the money he was making working for an education contractor.
With little prompting from his friend, who was wearing a wire, Fattah also discussed at length what prosecutors have described as $76,000 in bank loans he obtained through fraud.
A conversation he had with a loan administrator seeking to recover those debts for the U.S. Small Business Administration was also caught on tape. Prosecutors said it showed Fattah lying about his income to get out from under his debt for far less than he borrowed.
But it was the government's most recent attempt to capitalize on Fattah's seemingly impulsive loquaciousness that brought out his most forceful response.
Fattah raised his voice and banged on the lectern in front of him Tuesday while questioning John Brennan, an investigator with the Philadelphia School District's Office of the Inspector General and a key government witness to one aspect of the case.
Earlier, Brennan recalled a series of meetings he and other investigators had with Fattah in 2012, in which Fattah offered to expose his then-employer for misappropriating taxpayer funds in exchange for a reward.
At the time, Fattah was working as chief operating officer for Delaware Valley High School, a for-profit education firm that held contracts with the district to run alternative schools for at-risk youth in Southwest Philadelphia and East Falls.
As Brennan recalled it, Fattah walked them through years of the company's budgets and accused its owner, David Shulick, of lying about the number of employees he had on staff, and the salaries they were paid.
But unbeknownst to him, an undercover FBI agent was also listening in. Prosecutors now allege that while pointing the finger at Shulick, Fattah also thoroughly implicated himself.
Fattah shot back Tuesday, accusing Brennan and the FBI of "misleading" him into giving up information they would later use against him.
Shulick, he noted, has not been charged.
Brennan conceded under cross-examination that he never reported the fraud with which Fattah now stands accused to administrators overseeing the district's alternative education contracts.
What's more, Brennan said, Delaware Valley's contracts with the district were renewed shortly after those 2012 meetings.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul Gray scoffed at the notion that the School District or the federal government did anything to entrap Fattah.
Once again, he noted in his questions to Brennan, Fattah willingly gave them all the information they needed.
"Mr. Fattah was offering everything," Brennan agreed. "There was very little we had to ask."
The trial is expected to resume Wednesday with the conclusion of the government's case.