The corruption scandal that has rocked local politics in D.C. now has a Hillary Clinton aide in the mix, one who has served as a close adviser and has been involved with Clinton's future plans for public life.
Minyon Moore, a close Clinton confidant, has been connected to the guilty plea of businessman Jeffrey Thompson, who admitted to federal prosecutors that he made $3.3 million in illegal campaign contributions. Court papers allege that Moore had asked him to pay for pro-Clinton efforts in Puerto Rico and four states, The Washington Post's Matea Gold and Rosalind Helderman report. It doesn't appear there is evidence showing Clinton knew about it, prosecutors say.
Burns Strider, a longtime Clinton aide who now works with the pro-Clinton rapid-response group Correct the Record, called the allegations "bizarre and brazenly false." Strider defended Moore, with whom he's worked with over the years, and called The Post's reporting "irresponsible."
"I think it's horseshit. I think The Washington Post is acting like some kind of an Internet blog or something instead of doing real reporting," he told National Journal. "I think it's pretty clear through everything that's come out that [Moore] didn't do anything wrong and has been exonerated and has been fully helpful in the case, and that's the bottom line."
A spokesperson for The Washington Post told National Journal that "the story is based on publicly available documents," and that the paper gave Moore "ample time to reply."
Strider said the allegations will do nothing to hurt Clinton, who is considering a presidential run in 2016, and said the former first lady's relationship with Moore will not suffer. "I can tell you right now that there will be no strained relationship. Minyon's advice and friendship [are] beyond reproach. Anyone would know that they would suffer a loss by not having her on their team."
"Minyon—she's got more character in her high heels than this whole town does put together," Strider added. "There are legions of people—you could just go through the phone book and start calling people about Minyon and you're going to hear this over and over and over."
Others who have been implicated in Thompson's guilty plea have also called the allegations false, including D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray, who said "these are absolute lies."
The court papers describe a shadow campaign for a presidential campaign, with a person identified as "Individual A" involved, which The Post reports is Moore.
America Rising, a GOP super PAC dedicated to opposition research, smelled blood. "If Hillary's 2008 team's only refuge is a 'statute of limitation' law, that might save them from jail time but will be a tougher sell to voters," the group said in a blog post, noting that the statute of limitations on any possible violations would have already passed.
Moore's connection came to light in September. Her firm maintains that she "was entirely unaware of any inappropriate activities," according to The Post.
Moore served as a Clinton adviser during her 2008 bid. And if Clinton did decide to run again in 2016, Moore would likely be a top adviser, too. For instance, Moore helped organize an hourlong, formal gathering for Clinton about her 2016 presidential prospects.
Moore is a longtime, behind-the-scenes Democratic political operative. A Chicago native who put herself through school while working at Encyclopedia Britannica, she joined what would become Rainbow/PUSH, and then went on to serve as a deputy field director in Jesse Jackson's presidential campaign.
She also served in several capacities in the Clinton White House, and in 2000, went on to become CEO at the Democratic National Committee.
This story was updated at 5:30 p.m. with a statement from The Washington Post.
Update (5:50 p.m.):
Moore's firm, Dewey Square Group, called the Post report "inaccurate" in a statement to National Journal. The group says that Moore's actions detailed in the court documents asking Thompson to "contribute and raise money directly for the campaign" were legal. They also reiterated that Moore acted appropriately and "with the highest ethical and professional standards. Nothing that happened yesterday changes these facts."
This article appears in the March 12, 2014 edition of NJ Daily.