11 March 2014, 15:42

Hillary Clinton campaign accepted illegal funds from DC scandal starter – prosecutors

Hillary Clinton campaign accepted illegal funds from DC scandal starter – prosecutors

Hillary Clinton’s 2008 campaign accepted illegal campaign contributions from a DC scandal figure, according to information revealed by prosecutors just one day ago. On Monday, Mayor Vincent C. Gray’s “shadow campaign” also gave hundreds of thousands of dollars to support Clinton’s bid to become the next US President.

The scheme, allegedly formulated by Jeffery E. Thompson, included pushing over $608,000 in illicit fund money to a New York executive, Troy White. The marketing man, White, was well accustomed to organizing “street teams” in order to increase Clinton’s visibility in urban neighborhoods during her battle in the primary against then opponent Barack Obama. White pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor in the trial.

Prosecutors claim that from February to May 2008, Thompson made use of two companies to disburse $608,750 in “excessive and unreported contributions to pay for campaign services in coordination with and in support of a federal political candidate for president of the United States and the federal and the candidate’s authorized committee.” The candidate being mentioned was Hillary Clinton.

Clinton is not alone as Barack Obama also accepted thousands of dollars for his campaign fund from Thompson and his employees. However, it has been noted that these donations were supposedly legal. According to a Washington Times article, US Attorney Ron Machen said there was no indication that Mrs. Clinton was aware of the specific activities to aid her campaign.

“There are varying degrees of knowledge among the different candidates,” Machen commented in a Washington Times article. Clinton’s lawyer for the case, Lyn Utrecht, noted that the campaign gave its full cooperation during the matter. Utrecht claims that White was never hired on for the presidential race, in fact the committee “turned down Mr. White’s services.”

Such revelations are coming around at the wrong time for Clinton as her backers are getting ready for a possible run for the 2016 presidency. Back in 2007, during the time when Clinton was thought of as a front-runner for the Democratic Party’s nomination, she took a bold step and gave back $850,000 in funding raised by Norman Hsu, a prominent campaigner bundler wanted on criminal offenses in a multimillion dollar Ponzi plot.

During that point in time, Clinton campaign organizers said they would implement “vigorous” vetting processes to ensure her sources for campaign funding were coming from a legitimate place. Hsu was later on sentenced in 2009 to 24 years behind bars for not following campaign finance laws by defrauding investors.

As for the Thompson case, prosecutors claimed that Mayor Gray had knowledge of the illegal shadow campaign that had been in place. However, Gray’s defense team are now using Clinton’s example to boost its argument that he had no prior knowledge of the illicit fundraising efforts from Thompson.

“No one has suggested that Hillary Clinton knew of Thompson’s illegal activities,” said Chuck Thies, manager for the Vince Gray 2014 campaign, according to The Washington Times, “Mayor Gray has not been afforded the same presumption of innocence.”

The Center for Public Integrity highlighted a year ago that Thompson and others who donated to campaign efforts, listing his accounting company as their employer contributed at minimum $514,350 to federal candidates as well as political action committees since the 2002 campaign cycle came into effect.

The top beneficiary of those funds was Hillary Clinton, whose campaigns raked in $50,400 while her campaign committee accepted $40,300 from employees at Thompson’s company in November of 2007. Other recipients were Barack Obama being given $14,500 during the 2008 cycle and John F. Kerry who was handed over $20,000 in the 2004 presidential election cycle. John McCain, who had run for president, was given $13,800 in the 2008 cycle.

One campaign finance expert for watchdog organization Public Citizen admitted that shadow campaigns are rising in popularity with political action committees becoming a more frequent scene. “Of all the super PACs involved in the 2012 federal elections, 58 percent supported a single candidate — established and run by friends, family or former campaign staff of that single candidate. This is a shadow campaign,” Craig Holman, campaign finance specialist for the group, said, as reported by the Washington Times.

It is believed that US courts have created a high barrier when defining which shadow campaigns are allowed and which ones are of illegal status. “As long as there is no traceable agreement between the candidate and the political operative — just a wink and a nod — the courts are reluctant to find coordination between the two,” Holman said, according to the Washington Times. Holman advocates for the public to be more concerned over these sorts of campaigns.

Voice of Russia, The Washington Times

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