Already facing several charges including wire fraud and bribery, embattled Baltimore Sen. Nathaniel Oaks (D-41), is facing additional federal charges. According to the U.S. Attorney for the District of Maryland, a federal grand jury returned an indictment Nov. 15, charging Oaks, 71, with obstruction of justice.
In this Feb. 6, 2009 photo, Maryland Del. Nathaniel T. Oaks, , Democrat, District 41, Baltimore City, glances toward fellow delegates as he questions then Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon during a hearing in the House of Delegates, Baltimore Delegation, in Annapolis, Md. Oaks, who used the word “lollipop” as a code word for every $1,000 he expected to be paid has been charged with accepting illegal payments in exchange for using his position to facilitate business deals, the U.S attorney’s office announced Friday, April 7, 2017. (Glenn Fawcett /The Baltimore Sun via AP)
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Oaks agreed to cooperate in an FBI investigation for possible violation of federal laws. Oaks was directed by the FBI to record phone conversations and wear a hidden recording device during in-person conversations with the specific target of the investigation. The conversations between Oaks and the target of the FBI investigation allegedly took place between January 2017 and March 2017.
However, according to federal officials Oaks tipped off the target of the investigation at an Annapolis bar when Oaks allegedly said, “What we talked about, just say no.” The indictment also alleges Oaks told the target of the investigation, “I’m going to ask you for something, just say no,” during a conversation at a State government building in Annapolis. Both conversations allegedly took place in March 2017.
According to the original indictment, Oaks, who was appointed to the Senate in February 2017, committed fraud and took more than $15,000 in bribes in 2015 and 2016. Oaks faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for each count of wire fraud and honest services wire fraud, and five years in prison for each count of the Travel Act. He also faces 20 years in prison for the latest charge of obstruction of justice. An appearance for Oaks on the obstruction of justice charge has not been scheduled yet.