On October 7, hacktivist website WikiLeaks released thousands of emails from Hillary Clinton’s campaign chair John Podesta. The emails reveal that the Clinton campaign violated campaign finance laws by coordinating with David Brock who heads Clinton’s Super PAC Correct The Record. According to FEC’s already limited finance laws, Super PACs are not allowed to coordinate or consult in any way with the candidate or campaign it’s supporting.
Leaked emails in March indicate that the Clinton campaign was troubled by Peter Schweizer’s Clinton Cash book that was due to be released, and wanted to get its hand on it as soon as possible to manage the narrative. The book alleges that Hillary Clinton benefited financially from her role as Secretary of State. Schweizer also argues that Clinton awarded large contracts to groups and people affiliated with donors to the Clinton Foundation.
Podesta asked to reach out to David Brock, the founder of Clinton’s Super PAC Correct The Record to help find the book before it was published. “Oh, that’s a great idea. I’ll get a chain going on that,” replied Clinton’s campaign manager Robby Mook.
Mook then emailed Marc Elias, general counsel for the Clinton campaign, to contact David Brock.
Marc, can we communicate with Brock about getting a copy of this Clinton Cash book? We need it very urgently if possible.
The Clinton campaign was also concerned about rumors that 60 minutes would cover the Clinton Cash story. “Yes, the foundation team heard that 60 minutes was looking into it. That’s one of the reasons we desperately want to get the book ahead of time,” wrote Clinton campaign Deputy Communications Director Kristina Schake.
The campaign spokesman Nick Merrill stated that Craig Minasian, the Chief Communications Officer for the Clinton Foundation had an initial meeting with 60 minutes “to see if we can finesse this from starting off in such a ridiculous place as to have its premise be that book.”
John Podesta suggested that the campaign “should get Brock to attack the book;” a clear violation of the FEC campaign rules. Jennifer Palmieri, the campaign’s Director of Communication, agreed with Podesta.
After these emails, Hillary Clinton’s Super PAC Correct The Record issued a rebuttal to the Clinton Cash book. David Brock also appeared on Rachel Maddow to defend Hillary Clinton from allegations raised by the book.
Coincidentally, hours before the WikiLeaks emails were released, Campaign Legal Center filed an official complaint with the FEC on Thursday against Correct The Record for “violating federal election law by coordinating with Hillary Clinton.”
Correct The Record and the Clinton campaign have not responded to our request for comment. We will update the article should we hear from them.