It was clear throughout the trial that Chaka Fattah never thought it would happen - never thought it could happen - that he would really lose it all.

Through four weeks of damning testimony, the 11-term congressman who had so long dominated the stratosphere of Philly politics came across as all cool confidence and smiles.

He smiled after prosecutors explained how he orchestrated an illegal $1 million loan for his floundering 2007 mayoral campaign and then paid it back with stolen money. Money meant to expand access to higher education for low-income students - the very kind of effort the West Philly native had staked his legacy on helping to foster.

He smiled after prosecutors described how he raided campaign funds to pay college tuition for his bumbling son Chip, now doing five years in federal prison for fraud.

He smiled after prosecutors detailed the sham sale of a Porsche owned by his wife, former NBC10 news anchor Renee Chenault-Fattah, to cover up a bribe.

And he smiled when Justice Department lawyer Eric Gibson pointed at him and said: "The arrogance on display here is astounding."

It has been for so long.

Here was a man who stood accused not of the petty political graft to which Philadelphians have grown inured, but of elaborate crimes remarkable both in their scope and in the congressman's nonchalant attitude toward them.

Here was a man who had ascended from poverty to a top echelon of national power, only to betray those he left behind - all to pay for a lifestyle he could not afford and a quest for power he ultimately could not attain.

Here was a man who smiled through nearly a decade of investigation and kept smiling to the end.

Now the mighty Fattah has finally fallen - his long political career capped with a federal conviction for racketeering conspiracy, bribery, money laundering, and fraud.

A long stay in prison surely awaits.

Even when it was clear he had fallen, that resignation was inevitable, Fattah tried to hold on. Even in disgrace, he tried to cut himself one last deal.

He told House Speaker Paul Ryan he would resign - in time. He planned to stay in office until Oct. 3, literally one day before sentencing, when he would likely be carted off to federal prison.

Until then, he was fine collecting a check. A final insult.

Fattah's resignation letter was a testament to the arrogance that brought him down. It was filled not with remorse, but with a compilation of the greatest hits of his resume. Instead of owning up to his crimes, he bragged of showering federal money on education, housing, and programs for inner cities.

But as the trial showed, all of that came with a price. In his letter he touted the early college awareness program, GEAR UP. That's just the type of educational nonprofit he stole from.

In the most quintessential of Philly ways, many of Fattah's political buds responded to his conviction not with calls for resignation, but with fulsome praise for his accomplishments - and with deference. The same deference they had afforded the congressman all along. And after the fall, they gave him one last courtesy that, for all his crimes, he did not deserve.

Fattah should decide when to leave on his own, they said. But it was so clear he no longer had a choice.

A federal jury made that decision for him. And it was echoed by his colleagues in Congress who decried his crimes and showed him the door.

In the end, Fattah's arrogance abated just enough for him to see that there would be no deal.

October was a dream. He had well and truly fallen. There was nothing left to do but yield to the prison cell that awaits.

After so long, there was little left to smile about.

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