Fundraiser for Hil­lary gets pro­ba­tion in cover-up of il­le­gal do­na­tions

The Washington Times Weekly - - Politics - BY JIM MCELHATTON

A for­mer wealth man­ager for crime writer Pa­tri­cia Corn­well has man­aged to avoid prison for his role in cov­er­ing up tens of thou­sands of dol­lars in il­le­gal cam­paign con­tri­bu­tions from the nov­el­ist to Hil­lary Rod­ham Clin­ton’s 2008 pres­i­den­tial cam­paign.

Evan H. Snap­per re­ceived three years of pro­ba­tion at his sen­tenc­ing two weeks ago in U.S. District Court in Wash­ing­ton af­ter say­ing he made the con­tri­bu­tions as an “ill-ad­vised fa­vor” to Ms. Corn­well.

In a sep­a­rate civil court fil­ing, Ms. Corn­well’s at­tor­neys say she didn’t do any­thing wrong and was mis­in­formed by Snap­per, adding that she has had to spend lots of money to help the gov­ern­ment dur­ing its in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

Fed­eral pros­e­cu­tors are say­ing lit­tle about the probe. While not­ing that Snap­per co­op­er­ated in the in­ves­ti­ga­tion, the Jus­tice Depart­ment won’t say how.

Pros­e­cu­tors filed a heav­ily redacted sen­tenc­ing memo in his case that pro­vided few de- tails about the source of the il­le­gal con­tri­bu­tions he helped con­ceal. Of­fi­cials de­clined to elab­o­rate on the fil­ing last week.

How­ever, plead­ings in an on­go­ing civil law­suit by Ms. Corn­well against Snap­per and the New York ac­count­ing and con­sult­ing firm he used to work for, Anchin Block & Anchin LLP, make clear that the con­tri­bu­tions came from her.

Un­der sen­tenc­ing guide­lines, Snap­per had faced up to 16 months in prison.

Snap­per used to man­age the au­thor’s fi­nances, but Ms. Corn­well claims that af­ter she sued him for mis­han­dling her fi­nances, Snap­per in turn tried to get her in trou­ble over cam­paign do­na­tions. Ac­cord­ing to Ms. Corn­well’s law­suit, Snap­per han­dled her po­lit­i­cal con­tri­bu­tions and “sought to falsely ac­cuse” her of telling him to bun­dle il­le­gal cam­paign cash for the Clin­ton cam­paign.

But Snap­per’s crim­i­nal de­fense at­tor­ney, Evan Barr, in court pa­pers called Snap­per a “hard­work­ing, re­spectable fam­ily man who has led a pro­duc­tive and law-abid­ing life.”

“Mr. Snap­per com­mit­ted the in­stant of­fense as an ill-ad­vised fa­vor to Pa­tri­cia Corn­well, an im­por­tant and pow­er­ful client of his firm,” he wrote in court plead­ings.

Af­ter the sen­tenc­ing, Mr. Barr said, “Mr. Snap­per looks for­ward to mov­ing on to the next chap­ter in his life.”

An at­tor­ney for Ms. Corn­well did not re­spond to phone and email mes­sages on July 5.

Mrs. Clin­ton now serves as sec­re­tary of state in the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion.

Fed­eral law makes it il­le­gal for a sin­gle in­di­vid­ual to do­nate more than $2,500 to a cam­paign, and in 2008, the limit was $2,300. No Clin­ton cam­paign of­fi­cials were ac­cused of tak­ing part in the scheme in­volv­ing Snap­per.

Snap­per pleaded guilty to help­ing fun­nel $48,300 in il­le­gal cam­paign do­na­tions to Mrs. Clin­ton’s cam­paign. Pros­e­cu­tors say Snap­per caused the Clin­ton cam­paign to “un­wit­tingly” file false re­ports with the Fed­eral Elec­tion Com­mis­sion (FEC).

In de­scrib­ing the case, fed­eral pros­e­cu­tors have said Snap­per and 20 oth­ers agreed to buy tick­ets to an El­ton John con­cert in April 2008 to raise money for Mrs. Clin­ton’s cam­paign, with the un­der­stand­ing they all would be re­im­bursed by one of his clients, de­scribed as “Per­son A.” That per­son was Ms. Corn­well, ac­cord­ing to fil­ings in her civil case against Snap­per.

A Jus­tice Depart­ment spokes­woman on July 5 de­clined to com­ment on why the de­part- ment so heav­ily redacted the sen­tenc­ing memo pros­e­cu­tors filed in Snap­per’s case.

Snap­per also is ex­pected to reach a set­tle­ment with the FEC. In court pa­pers, his at­tor­ney said Snap­per helped Ms. Corn­well do­nate to cam­paigns for for­mer Vir­ginia Gov. James S. Gil­more III, a Repub­li­can. The doc­u­ments state that Ms. Corn­well wasn’t com­fort­able do­nat­ing to Mr. Gil­more di­rectly be­cause of philo­soph­i­cal dif­fer­ences on same-sex mar­riage.

In 2007, Ms. Corn­well dis­closed that she was mar­ried to an­other woman. Snap­per and his wife gave more than $9,000 to Mr. Gil­more’s pres­i­den­tial and Se­nate cam­paigns, but later were re­im­bursed from an ac­count be­long­ing to Ms. Corn­well, ac­cord­ing to his sen­tenc­ing memo.

Anchin Block & Anchin was not charged in the in­ves­ti­ga­tion and has said it fully co­op­er­ated with authorities in the probe. The com­pany pre­vi­ously said it “deeply re­grets the events that oc­curred that led to this con­clu­sion.”

Demo­crat pres­i­den­tial can­di­date Hil­lar y Clin­ton on the cam­paign trail in 2007.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.