Court papers show Clinton adviser sought funds later used for illegal campaign
(CNN) — A close adviser to Hillary Clinton courted and procured money that was later used to fund illegal get-out-the-vote operations during the former secretary of state's hotly contested 2008 presidential bid, according to allegations formally laid out Monday by federal prosecutors.
The information became public as part of a plea agreement for Jeffrey Thompson, a Washington, D.C. businessman who on Monday pled guilty to conspiracy for masterminding a nearly $670,000 illegal "shadow campaign" for D.C. Mayor Vince Gray's successful mayoral bid in 2010. But within the documents, Thompson told federal prosecutors that Clinton adviser Minyon Moore approached him to raise funds for the Clinton campaign that would end up amounting to more than $600,000.
There is no evidence in the documents that Clinton was aware of the off-the-books effort. Nor is there any indication within the court filing that Moore knew, as well.
A spokeswoman for the Dewey Square Group, Moore's current employer, said in a statement to CNN that the Clinton confidant "fully cooperated with the government's investigation and the facts make clear that she was entirely unaware of any inappropriate activities."
According to the documents, Moore's contact with Thompson began in February 2008 when the Clinton adviser asked Thompson to organize "street teams" in support of the Clinton's primary campaign. At first, these street teams only aimed to help before the Texas primary on March 4, 2008.
The court documents show that Moore introduced Thompson to "INDIVIDUAL C," someone who a government source said was a Clinton supporter in Texas, and Troy White, a New York marketing executive who pled guilty for his work on the street teams last year.
The group also included Luis Vera, the general counsel for the League of United Latin American Citizens, according to a government source, whose task was to help turnout Hispanic voters ahead of the primary. In the court documents, Vera is identified as "INDIVIDUAL B."
After Clinton won the most votes in the Texas primary, the effort continued and Moore worked with Thompson, according to the documents, to deploy teams to Pennsylvania, Indiana, North Carolina and Puerto Rico in an effort to boost Clinton's standing in the lead up to each state's primary.
Federal campaign finance rules outlaw people working for a campaign from soliciting off-the-books contributions and Moore's work with Thompson could be considered in violation of those laws.
A Clinton spokesman did not respond to CNN's request for a statement on the court documents.
During the primary campaign, which Clinton eventually lost to Obama, Moore exchanged emails with Thompson and White.
"On or about April 21, 2008, INDIVIDUAL A sent an e-mail to THOMPSON and WHITE, titled 'This is what they will need in NC -- Please advise,'" according to the court filing. "Individual A" is Moore, according to a federal government source.
The email, according to the documents, forwarded the Clinton campaign's "strategy for maximizing visibility in North Carolina."
Later that day, according to the filing, White responded to Moore and copied Thompson, stating that, "These are the cities we can cover in NC: Charlotte, Raleigh, Durham, Greensboro, Fayetteville, Wilmington, Winston-Salem. Let me know what you think ASAP."
Thompsons and White's work included "assembling and organizing paid street teams and canvassers to disseminate and distribute campaign materials prepared by PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN 1" -- Clinton's campaign -- "including posters, lawn signs, pamphlets and stickers."
Prosecutors contend that Thompson intended for the "hundreds of thousands of dollars in corporate funds" to never be reported because he knew "that funding this effort violated federal campaign law."
Moore is a longtime political operative who worked for both Bill and Hillary Clinton. Before working on Clinton's 2008 campaign, Moore served as the CEO of the Democratic National Committee, where, according to her bio, "she was responsible for the day-to-day operations and oversight of the party's activities including communications, research, and fundraising."
Ginny Terzano, a spokeswoman for Dewey Square Group, defended Moore on Tuesday, stating that she had conducted herself "not only in full compliance with the law but in accordance with the highest ethical and professional standards."
Moore's involvement with Thompson was first reported by the Washington Post in a story that Terzano labeled "inaccurate."
"The Statement of Offense says Ms. Moore asked Jeffrey Thompson to fund street teams. In fact she asked Thompson to contribute and raise money directly for the campaign so the campaign could afford to execute a field program in constituent communities. Her actions were legal," Terzano added. "Furthermore, she was never aware Jeffrey Thompson paid Troy White or any other vendor outside of the campaign."
Burns Strider, a Clinton confidant and friend of Moore's, also knocked the Post report and ardently defended Moore as someone who is known for always "doing what is right."
A federal government source would not comment on whether Moore had aided the investigation or if she could be charged in the future for the campaign with Thompson.
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