Documents released by the D.C. Federal District Court suggest that Minyon Moore, a former staffer for the Clinton White House and senior adviser to Hillary Clinton in 2008, illegally coordinated with an external campaign effort in the late days of that campaign.
Last September, a New York marketing executive named Troy White plead guilty to tax violations related to his involvement in a scheme orchestrated by D.C. businessman Jeffrey Thompson. Thompson on Monday copped to conspiracy charges related to his making millions in illegal campaign contributions. Among those were his providing over $600,000 to White to organize "street teams" of supporters who would gin up excitement for Clinton.
By itself, that's not illegal, providing two things happen. The first is that Thompson and/or White report the campaign activity with the Federal Election Commission. The second is that the work not occur at the behest of or in coordination with any campaign. Thompson apparently broke both of those rules. As The Washington Post reported in September, there was "no evidence that Thompson or White disclosed the alleged expenditures or activities." And the court filings, obtained by the Post, make clear that Thompson coordinated with a presidential campaign.
According to the Post's Matea Gold and Rosalind Helderman, the campaign was Hillary Clinton's 2008 effort, and the campaign staffer that coordinated with Thompson's effort was Minyon. In the court documents, Minyon isn't identified, referring to her only as a senior adviser to the campaign who worked for a public affairs firm. (Moore is a consultant at Dewey Square.) According to Gold and Helderman, Thompson implicated Moore in that role.
At the time of White's plea, he, too, implicated Moore, who, he said, "arranged for Clinton’s Texas campaign office to provide White’s 'street team workers' with campaign-prepared materials — such as bumper stickers and yard signs." He also alleged that Moore provided internal documents about where the campaign was headed.
The documents in the Thompson case reinforce that claim. On April 21, Moore allegedly emailed White, telling him where the campaign needed support in North Carolina. White responded with a list of places he could get people to turn out. Such coordination is in clear violation of the law; after all, if campaigns could assist any group spending any amount of money on their behalf, the idea of capping contribution limits would lose any meaning.
Additionally, Thompson paid money to the League of United Latin American Citizens, or LULAC, to encourage turnout at Clinton campaign events — again, allegedly without reporting it as campaign work. (Instead, he apparently listed it as a charitable contribution.)
The allegations against Moore bring an embarrassing aspect of the 2008 campaign closer to Hillary Clinton, though the U.S. Attorney in charge of the case stated explicitly that there was no "indication that the candidate was personally aware of Mr. Thompson’s illicit activities." Moore had been involved in presidential politics long enough to know that she was violating campaign finance laws, if the allegations are correct. And as a former Clinton White House staffer and executive at the Democratic National Committee, the incident will certainly be embarrassing for those involved.