D.C. Democratic Mayor Vincent Gray knew about an illicit “shadow campaign” that boosted his 2010 election run, federal prosecutors said Monday, a startling revelation in the years-long federal investigation into the off-the-books campaign activity. Gray has steadfastly denied such knowledge.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Atkinson made the claim while charging wealthy District of Columbia businessman Jeffrey Thompson for his part in conspiring to violate federal and local campaign finance laws by funding under-the-radar campaign activity for candidates including Gray and fellow Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton.
He said Gray personally requested the funds from Thompson, who pleaded guilty to two conspiracy charges. Atkinson said that Gray presented Thompson with a one-page budget for $425,000 and asked him to “pay for a get-out-the-vote campaign,” to which Thompson agreed.
Gray has not been charged with a crime and has denied any wrongdoing in the 2010 campaign. Robert Bennett, Gray’s lawyer, said Monday the mayor continued to maintain his innocence, calling the claims mere “allegations.”
“The mayor’s position on that is that it is absolutely not true,” Bennett said. “That has not changed one bit.”
The accusations against Gray and the charges against Thompson come three weeks before the district’s Democratic mayoral primary, in which Gray is seeking re-election against seven challengers.
The winner of the primary will likely win the November general election and become mayor in the heavily-Democratic city.
It was unclear what prosecutors will do next, as city residents and others continue to wait and guess whether the probe might eventually lead to charges against Gray.
Though the mayor has denied wrongdoing, he has not answered specific questions about his knowledge of Thompson’s activities.
Source: Fox News