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Orange Releases Information On Controversial Contributions

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Money orders coming from friends and associates of Jeffrey Thompson, who office was raided Friday, have been tied to councilmember Vincent Orange.
Mallory Noe-Payne
Money orders coming from friends and associates of Jeffrey Thompson, who office was raided Friday, have been tied to councilmember Vincent Orange.

A campaign finance scandal in D.C. politics is showing no signs of letting up, as investigators appear to be widening their probe.

First, there were the FBI raids on the offices of Jeffrey Thompson, a prolific political donor who has given to practically every local candidate. Then, Thompson was linked to thousands of dollars in suspicious money orders contributed to council member Vincent Orange from a network of donors by a WAMU report.

Now it appears federal authorities are broadening their investigation into Thompson and campaign finance practices at city hall. Subpoenas from the U.S. attorney's office are being issued this week to council members and former candidates for office, as NBC4 first reported. The subpoenas seek copies of all campaign contributions from Thompson and his network of associates and companies as well as other documents and any "communications." Authorities are seeking all records dating back to 2003.

Thompson and Harris have not been accused of any wrongdoing.  Meanwhile, questions surrounding the money orders donated to Vincent Orange continue to mount. After initially defending the contributions from Thompson and his associates, Orange now says they look suspicious and should be investigated.  Some of them had seemingly identical hand-writing despite having different donor names.  And many had sequential serial numbers suggesting they were purchased at the same time and place.

"I'm the candidate. I'm not the treasurer, I'm not the finance chair," Orange said.  "I didn't enter the information. There is no reason for me to look at this.  The only thing that I want to know, is it properly coded and did it go to the Office of Campaign Finance."

Orange says his 2011 campaign was audited by the Office of Campaign Finance, and in response, he sent over records, including copies of some of the suspicious money orders. Orange says the office gave his campaign a clean bill of health.

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