Federal investigators appear to be zeroing in on donations and gifts from Thompson, companies under his control, and his associates, including public relations specialist Jeanne Clarke Harris. Thompson and Harris, whose homes and offices were recently raided by federal investigators, have declined to comment.
Council members Phil Mendelson (D-At large), Jack Evans (D-Ward 2) and Yvette M. Alexander (D-Ward 7) confirmed Wednesday that their campaign treasurers were served subpoenas for years of records related to Thompson, Harris and Thompson’s firms.
The three said they are fully complying with the request. “We found nine checks, and that is it,” Evans said. “There is nothing much else we can do but turn them over to the U.S. attorney.”
A day after the subpoenas were issued for some council members’ campaigns, considerable uncertainty remains about the scope of the federal probe.
Council member David A. Catania (I-At large) was unavailable for comment, and his campaign treasurer did not return a call seeking comment. In a statement Wednesday night, council member Muriel Bowser (D-Ward 4) said her campaign “was eager” to cooperate with the investigation but declined to say whether she had received a subpoena.
Council member Marion Barry (D-Ward 8) said: “The U.S. attorney is conducting a far-ranging investigation. I’m not going to say anything while the investigation is going on.”
“I believe . . . someone is innocent until proven guilty,” he added.
Other council members said they had not received subpoenas related to Thompson.
Chairman Kwame R. Brown (D) said members are trying to understand where the investigation is headed. “It’s unclear what’s going on,” Brown said. “There is a process that is playing itself out, and, to be honest, it’s just a lot of speculation until someone comes out and says what’s going on.”
Investigators launched a probe last year after The Washington Post reported that Mayor Vincent C. Gray (D) had accepted money-order donations above the legal limit. He denied any wrongdoing.
Thompson, owner of Chartered Health Plan, has personally contributed more than $200,000 to federal campaigns and other committees in the past decade, according to records.
In the aftermath of the raids on Thompson’s home and office, council member Vincent B. Orange (D-At large) has had to explain $26,000 in money orders and cashier’s checks he said his campaign received last year from donors with ties to Thompson.
Several of the money orders, in $500 or $1,000 increments, had sequential order numbers. They appear to come from different donors, but the handwriting on several appears similar. According to tracking numbers, some of the money orders were purchased in the District but made out in the names of donors with addresses in California or Georgia.