Report: D.C. businessman tied to secret 2008 aid to Hillary Clinton

Sept. 12, 2013 at 10:05 AM
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WASHINGTON, Sept. 12 (UPI) -- A Washington businessman, the focus of a corruption probe, spent at least $500,000 on Hillary Clinton's 2008 presidential bid, The Washington Post reported.

Jeffrey E. Thompson, a one-time city contractor who allegedly financed a secret campaign for then-Washington mayoral candidate Vincent C. Gray in 2010, financed an independent, urban get-out-the-vote effort on behalf of Clinton in Texas and at least three other states during the 2008 Democratic primaries, the Post reported Wednesday, based on interviews and court documents.

Thompson allegedly paid Troy White, a New York marketing executive, at least $608,000 to hire "street teams" to help raise Clinton's profile during her primary battle with then-Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, documents and interviews with several people knowledgeable about the investigation told the Post.

A review of federal campaign records didn't uncover evidence that either Thompson or White disclosed the alleged expenditures or activities to the Federal Election Commission, as required.

The accusations became known when White pleaded guilty Wednesday to a misdemeanor tax charge, becoming the latest Thompson associate implicated in an investigation into Thompson's alleged secret role in funding political campaigns.

For the first time, the investigation linked Thompson to a major national political figure, the Post said. Clinton is seen as an overwhelming favorite for the Democratic nomination in the 2016 presidential election, should she choose to make a second run at the White House.

Thompson's attorney, Brendan Sullivan, declined to comment, the Post said

An attorney for Clinton's 2008 campaign said in a statement Wednesday that the campaign was fully cooperating in the White case.

A senior official on Clinton's 2008 campaign said no one among the campaign's leadership team or with budget-making authority knew about White's independent campaign. Other senior officials said they had never heard of White.

"I'm absolutely certain he had nothing to do with any of us," said Garry Mauro, chairman of Clinton's Texas campaign. "I was at the headquarters almost every day, I traveled the state, and I never heard of this guy."

Prosecutors have been building their case against Thompson, described in court documents as the money man for a secret campaign for Gray's successful mayoral run, and court records indicate he is the focus of a grand jury investigation, the Post said.

Neither Thompson nor Gray has been charged, and the mayor has denied any wrongdoing.

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