Amid campaign probe, Gray says China trip is still on

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Local,DC,Alan Blinder

D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray says a planned trip to China later this month will go forward even though federal prosecutors have filed a flurry of criminal charges against top players in District politics.

“I’m going to go because it will benefit the city,” Gray said Wednesday. “I think it will advance the purposes of the city… and I think that’s what people want. I think they want to see the city moving forward.”

Gray will depart on June 24 for a visit to Beijing, Shanghai and Suzhou. During the trip, he’ll attend an environmental conference, renew the District’s cultural partnership agreement with Beijing and push economic development initiatives.

Gray will head to the Far East as federal prosecutors continue a probe into Gray’s 2010 campaign. In recent weeks, authorities have secured guilty pleas from a pair of the mayor’s campaign aides who admitted they tried to cover up a plan to boost Gray’s prospects of winning the District’s top job.

Gray has denied any wrongdoing, but has otherwise remained quiet about the investigation into his campaign.

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