John Liu has no regrets.
Visiting the masjid At-Taqwa in Brooklyn the day after a federal court judge sentenced Mr. Liu’s former campaign treasurer Jenny Hou, 27, and fund-raiser Oliver Pan, 47, to prison time, Mr. Liu told Politicker he didn’t regret hiring the young aide.
“The regret is not mine to have,” he offered this afternoon. “I’m proud of my campaign, I’m proud of the conduct of my office and the people on my campaign. I don’t think the U.S. attorney’s office can say the same.”
Mr. Liu, who said Ms. Hou and Mr. Pan were planning to appeal the decision, also continued to rail against the conviction, which he alleged was the result of a “setup.”
“You know it’s ridiculous, this was never about finding wrongdoing—they’ve been after me for so many years … Who the hell knows what for?” he said after the service. “After years of finding nothing, absolutely nothing, they went about and created this setup that ultimately ensnared Jenny and Mr. Pan. But what has been gained through all of this?”
Mr. Liu argued the counts against Ms. Hou, who was sentenced to 10 months in prison and and another three years of supervised release, were unfair.
“She was set up for both of those,” he said, standing on the masjid sidewalk, along a bustle of convenience stores, halal restaurants, and Islamic clothing shops.
Inside the mosque, Imam Siraj Wahhaj also offered some relevant words during his sermon that he later said had nothing to do with Mr. Liu’s visit.
“Be careful whom you judge,” he said. “Let Allah be the one to judge.”