D.C. businessman Jeffrey E. Thompson received a shout-out from none other than President Bill Clinton at a 1997 Democratic National Committee dinner in the Crystal Ballroom of the Sheraton-Carlton Hotel.
It was a proud moment for Thompson, a Jamaican immigrant who had earned a GED two decades earlier and had gone on to co-found one of the largest African-American accounting firms in the country.
It was also more evidence of what some friends call Thompson’s longstanding affection with the Clintons, which began with his courtship in the 1990s of Alexis M. Herman, Clinton’s secretary of labor.
Through the years, Thompson has contributed heavily to the campaigns of both President Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as well as the family foundation.
Thompson has been at the center of a federal probe centered on the 2010 mayoral campaign of Vincent C. Gray (D). Thompson allegedly financed a secret campaign totaling more than $650,000 on behalf of Gray, who went on to win the election.
Neither Thompson nor Gray has been charged, and Gray has denied any wrongdoing. Thompson has been described repeatedly in court documents as a central figure in the shadow campaign and as the subject of a federal grand jury investigation. Although he is not named, many individuals with knowledge of the investigation say he is the businessman described in those documents.
This week, the U.S. Attorney’s office revealed more alleged Thompson spending — an unreported $608,000 paid to New York marketing executive Troy White to hire “street teams” to help Clinton in primaries in at least four states during her 2008 run against then-Sen. Barack Obama.
White pleaded guilty Wednesday to misdemeanor tax charges, and Thompson’s funding was revealed.
Court documents and Post interviews indicate that Minyon Moore, a senior adviser on Clinton’s 2008 campaign, helped White meet with Thompson after Guy Cecil, who served as Clinton’s national political and field director, declined White’s services.
According to friends, Thompson always liked the Clintons, impressed with their support of African American businesses and of President Clinton’s appointment of blacks in his Cabinet and throughout his administration.
Thompson and Herman remained friends after dating. They met through the late Dorothy I. Height, longtime president of the National Council of Negro Women.
In 2010, Hillary Clinton and Thompson spoke at Height’s funeral; Moore was a pallbearer.