WALKING AROUND MONEY
FBI Investigates Congressman for His Campaign Paying Opponent to Quit
The feds got a search warrant for Rep. Bob Brady’s email account to look for evidence his campaign secretly bribed his foe.
The FBI said it is investigating Rep. Bob Brady (D-PA) for an alleged scheme to pay his primary opponent to drop out of a 2012 race against him and for allegedly lying to investigators.
The revelation came from a search warrant application unsealed in a Pennsylvania federal court on Monday, which was first reported by Seamus Hughes. An FBI agent asked a judge to authorize access to Brady’s personal email account on the belief it holds evidence contradicting an anticipated defense about the campaign payments. The judge approved the warrant and the FBI said it got one CD worth of data from the email account.
Brady’s congressional office in Washington, D.C., could not be reached for comment. Brady has not been charged with a crime.
Jimmie Moore ended his campaign for the Democratic nomination in February 2012 after allegedly receiving $90,000 from the Brady campaign. The FBI said the payments were routed from the Brady campaign to businesses owned by his aides. Then the money was transferred to one of Moore’s aides, who used it to pay for services rendered to the Moore campaign.
“The payments were routed in this manner so that the FEC reports filed by the Brady and Moore campaigns would not show that Brady had made a payment to his primary opponent in violation of FECA [Federal Election Campaign Act] contribution limits,” the affidavit states.
The FBI affidavit lists Brady, Moore, and three others as having likely been “involved in the commission of several crimes, including conspiracy, false statements, producing false records, false campaign contribution reports, and violating limits on campaign contributions and expenditures.”
It also hints that Brady made false statements to the FBI, and says the data on the email account may have evidence that contradicts his anticipated defense. Assistant U.S. Attorney Eric Gibson said in June court filings that Brady tried to interfere in the FBI’s probe by coaching a witness.
A former aide to Moore, Carolyn Cavaness, pleaded guilty to hiding her role in the alleged payoff in July. Moore allegedly requested that she set up a firm to accept the money.
Last month, two aides to Brady, Ken Smukler and Donald Jones, were indicted for orchestrating “unlawful campaign contributions and [engaging] in a falsification scheme involving those contributions to the campaign of a candidate for the Democratic Party’s nomination,” the U.S. attorney’s office said.