Tags: Obama | donation | Secret Service | scandal

Report: Obama Campaign Returned Donation to Father of Link to Secret Service Scandal

By    |   Saturday, 11 Oct 2014 09:12 PM

Obama campaign organizers returned a $20,000 donation to the father of a White House advance team member connected to the Secret Service prostitution scandal just days before the staffer's possible involvement became public.

Fox News reported on Saturday that Leslie Dach donated the funds to the Obama Victory Fund on Sept. 19, 2012. His son, Jonathan, has been linked to the scandal in April of that year at the Hotel El Caribe in Cartagena, Columbia.

The next day, Leslie Dach met at the White House with a top Obama economic adviser, according to visitor logs cited by Fox.

The day after that, Charles Edwards, the lead prosecutor in the case, told Maine Republican Sen. Susan Collins that White House staffers might have been involved in the scandal in which Secret Service agents were caught with prostitutes.

Edwards, who was acting inspector general for the Department of Homeland Security at the time, told Collins in a letter that his office had found "a hotel registry that suggests that two [non-Secret Service] personnel may have had contact with foreign nationals."

One employee, Edwards wrote, worked for the Defense Department and was "affiliated" with the White House Communication Agency, according to a September 2012 Fox report.

The other "may have been" affiliated with the White House advance team, Edwards wrote.

On Sept. 24, 2012, the Obama Victory Fund returned Leslie Dach's $20,000 donation, according to campaign finance data cited by Fox.

"The chain of events might be coincidental, but nevertheless raises questions about Dach’s interactions with both the Obama administration and Democratic campaign officials," Fox said in its report.

The reason for Dach's refund was not disclosed in a Federal Election Commission filing cited by Fox.

But Richard Sauber, Dach's attorney, said that the money was returned because his client did not attend a fundraising event as planned — and "so the check (he thought) was either returned or not cashed."

In an email to Fox, Sauber said that Dach could not recall specifics on the event.

On the same day the donation was dated, the Obama Victory Fund held a star-studded fundraiser in London, Fox reports. The event, at $15,000 per person, was attended by actress Gwyneth Paltrow and other celebrities.

It was not clear that this was the event that Dach’s lawyer says he missed, Fox reports.

Sauber added that the Sept. 20 meeting that Dach held at the White House, with Eugene Sperling, who was director of the National Economic Council at the time, was "unrelated" to the contribution, according to Fox.

Dach was a lobbyist for Wal-Mart at the time, Sauber told Fox.

On Wednesday, The Washington Post reported that during the Columbia trip, a woman was registered to Jonathan Dach’s hotel room shortly after midnight one night.

Dach, who was a 25-year-old law student at Yale University at the time, was a member of the White House advance team on the trip. He was working as a volunteer, according to the Post.

Earlier this year, Dach began working in the Obama administration via a federal contract as a policy adviser for the State Department in the Office on Global Women’s Issues, the Post reports.

His father, Leslie Dach, also now works for the administration. He was appointed a senior counselor in July with the Department of Health and Human Services — and his job entails handling the next implementation phase of Obamacare, according to the Post.

In his Wal-Mart job, Leslie Dach worked with the White House on various high-profile projects, including Michelle Obama’s "Let’s Move!" campaign, the Post reports.

The White House has long denied that any advance team member was involved in inappropriate behavior in the prostitution scandal — adding that the volunteer had been wrongly implicated based on faulty hotel records.

The administration reiterated those claims after the Post report.

In his email to Fox on Saturday, Sauber said the Post's allegations were "utterly and completely false."

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Obama campaign organizers returned a $20,000 donation to the father of a White House advance team member connected to the Secret Service prostitution scandal just days before the staffer's possible involvement became public. Fox News reported on Saturday that Leslie Dach...
Obama, donation, Secret Service, scandal
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2014-12-11
Saturday, 11 Oct 2014 09:12 PM
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