Adelson lawyer threatens suit over prostitution claims
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Casino mogul and high dollar Republican donor Sheldon Adelson threatened to sue the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee for libel over statements made that tied the magnate to a "'Prostitution Strategy ' in China."
CNN obtained a copy of the letter sent by Adelson's lawyer, Lewis R. Clayton, to DCCC press secretary Jesse Ferguson that accused the Democratic House fundraising arm of "maliciously branding Mr. Adelson as a pimp who has given 'Chinese prostitution money' to your political opponents."
The letter, dated Monday, asked the DCCC to remove all allegations surrounding Adelson from the DCCC website, agree not to republish any allegations surrounding Adelson and release a statement retracting and apologizing for "false claims."
When contacted by CNN the DCCC's Ferguson said "We just received and are reviewing Mr. Adelson's attorney's letter."
Adelson, the biggest single GOP donor of this presidential election cycle, has made significant contributions to Mitt Romney and the PAC supporting his candidacy, as well as other conservative organizations. In the wake of the Citizens United ruling his donations have shattered records.
In June the Associated Press reported Adelson approved and was aware of prostitution at his company's properties in Macau, a story cited by Adelson's attorney. Although a Las Vegas Sands spokesman and attorney for the company denied the allegations, made in court documents by a former chief executive fired from the Macau casino, the DCCC jumped on the report.
"Breaking: House Republicans' Biggest Donor Approved 'Prostitution Strategy' in China" was the headline of a June 29 statement from the DCCC and a July 2 statement asked what House Republicans will do when their "Chinese prostitution money comes from billionaire Sheldon Adelson."
Politifact, an independent fact check organization, delivered a "Pants on Fire" for the DCCC point that recipients of Adelson donations were receiving dirty money, a fact seized upon in the attorney letter.
"As you and the DCCC surely knew when you spoke, the charges you made are outrageous and completely untrue," Clayton wrote in the letter. "Mr. Adelson does not tolerate prostitution -- let alone, as you have said, make money from it. The fact is that Mr. Adelson has consistently objected to and maintained a strong policy against prostitution, a commitment that extends to his personal life."