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Former D.C. Councilmember Michael Brown, who told supporters last night he plans to plead guilty to federal charges stemming from an undercover FBI operation, has provided law enforcement officials with information about the man at the center of the ongoing federal probe into Mayor Vince Gray‘s 2010 campaign, according to people familiar with the investigations.
Brown provided information that he received illegal campaign contributions from D.C. powerbroker Jeff Thompson via former Gray campaign aide Jeanne Clarke Harris, according to sources. Harris pleaded guilty last summer for her role in what federal prosecutors describe as a vast conspiracy, in which an unnamed co-conspirator illegally funneled more than $650,000 into efforts to get Gray elected. Thompson, a one-time major city contractor and campaign donor, has been widely implicated as the co-conspirator, though he’s not been charged with any wrongdoing. His lawyer did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
It’s not clear what campaign Brown says Thompson aided him for. Brown received at least $26,000 from donors connected to Thompson during his unsuccessful run for the Ward 4 Council seat in 2007 and his successful at-large election in 2008. Those donations include several from companies owned by Harris. In her plea agreement last summer, Harris admitted to being a straw donor in several elections, funneling the co-conspirator’s money to various candidates with donations in her name or in the name of companies she controlled in order to hide the fact that the money actually came from Thompson.
Brown did not immediately return a call seeking comment.
Photo by Darrow Montgomery