A major donor to liberal campaigns has been charged with conspiring to violate local and federal campaign finance laws. According to reports he tried to secretly fund campaign activity for Hillary Clinton and the Washington D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray as well as other candidates.
The influential businessman, Jefferey Thompson, is a multimillionaire and used to own a well-connected accounting firm in Washington D.C.. He was charged in a criminal information which generally means the defendant has plead guilty because it can only be filed with their counsel.
Prosecutors described Thompson’s activities as “shadow campaigns” and they involved illicit funding for 9 candidates totaling over $2 million, according to the charging document.
The 58 year-old businessman had been suspected of donating to the 2010 campaign of Vincent Gray in order to fund get-out-the-vote and other activities that totaled $668,000, he was also charged with donating $608,750 for Hillary’s 2008 run at the presidency. Prosecutors accuse Thompson of using straw donors and funneling money from his corporation through intermediaries to fund the campaigns.
He’s also accused of contributing over $500,000 to local candidates and another $250,000 to other federal candidates over a 6 year period, the document states.
Gray denied all wrongdoing in the case but refuses to answer anything specific about Thompson’s activities, which came to light three weeks prior to the Democratic mayoral primary. Gray is up against 7 other challengers, some of whom think he’s unfit to run due to his association with Thompson, even though his campaign manager pointed out that the charging documents do not implicate Gray in any manner.
Chuck Thies said that “No one has suggested that Hillary Clinton knew of Thompson’s illegal activities. Mayor Gray has not been afforded the same presumption of innocence,” he then added “We urge the media to be cautions when reporting the facts of this case.”
Two years ago federal authorities searched Thompson’s home and ever since then a case has been built against him by U.S. Attorney Ronald Machen, who targeted Thompson’s close associates, five of them have since pleaded guilty to felonies. Of those five, two of the men were close friends of Gray’s and worked on his 2010 campaign. Two other men pleaded guilty to making straw donations on Thompson’s behalf and one of the men pleaded guilty to using illicit funds to help Hillary in primaries across the nation, including Texas.
Federal prosecutors are also trying to find a connection between Thompson’s support for Gray and a settlement that his healthcare company received shortly after Gray had taken the office of Mayor. The D.C. Council approved the settlement and administration officials have denied any wrongdoing in the matter.