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Another Person Linked To Jeffrey Thompson Falls; Who's Next?

D.C. businessman Jeffrey Thompson outside a federal courthouse in D.C. in March.
(AP Photo/Cliff Owen)
D.C. businessman Jeffrey Thompson outside a federal courthouse in D.C. in March.

Today, former D.C. Council candidate Kelvin Robinson pleaded guilty to taking $33,000 in illicit campaign contributions from D.C. businessman Jeffrey Thompson.

Robinson is the seventh person charged in relationship to Thompson, a city contractor and power broker who this year admitted to steering millions in illegal campaign contributions — known as straw donations — to local and federal candidates. Here's the list of the people who have pleaded guilty so far, including Thompson himself:

  • Eugenia Harris: A longtime associate of Thompson's, Harris pleaded guilty in July 2012 to helping collect and distribute illicit campaign funds to various candidates for office, including Mayor Vincent Gray's 2010 campaign. She faces up to 37 months in prison, but has not yet been sentenced.
  • Lee A. Calhoun: The Maryland man pleaded guilty in June 2013 to taking $160,000 in reimbursements for campaign contributions from Thompson, who was his boss at the time. All told, Calhoun made $76,000 worth of straw donations to D.C. candidates and $83,400 in contributions to federal candidates. Calhoun could serve between 24 and 30 months in prison.
  • Stanley Straughter: The Philadelphia contractor, whose firm worked with Thompson, pleaded guilty in June 2013 to overseeing $130,000 in straw donations to a variety of candidates.
  • Vernon Hawkins: The veteran D.C. campaign aide worked on Gray's 2010 campaign, and in July 2013 pleaded guilty to making a false statement to federal investigators looking into straw contribution schemes dating back to 2006. In his plea, he admitted to working with Harris to help Thompson funnel illicit contributions to candidates. Hawkins faces 16 months in prison.
  • Troy White: In September 2013, White admitted to taking $600,000 in illicit funds linked to Thompson to do work for Hillary Clinton's 2008 presidential campaign.
  • Michael Brown: The former D.C. Council member, who was recently sentenced to 39 months in prison for taking $55,000 of bribes from undercover FBI agents, admitted to taking $100,000 from Thompson and his affiliates for a 2008 Council run.
  • Jeffrey Thompson: In March 2014, the federal investigation caught up to Thompson himself — he admitted to steering close to $3 million worth of illicit campaign funds to local and federal candidates from 2006 to 2012. Thompson also said that Gray knew of the 2010 shadow campaign that funneled over $650,000 into his mayoral race. He's cooperating with investigators, and could face six months in prison.

The question remains: Who's next?

While U.S. Attorney for D.C. Ron Machen named Gray and Thompson implicated him, no further action has yet been taken against him. (Gray has denied knowing of the shadow campaign.) There are five other unnamed candidates and Council members in court documents, though a judge said in March that they would remain nameless during an ongoing grand jury investigation into Thompson.

It's also worth noting that the list above does not include people who pleaded guilty for other offenses linked to Gray's 2010 campaign, including Thomas Gore and Howard Brooks. Their offenses were limited to making payments to a third mayoral candidate.


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