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The names of Mr. Brooks‘ family members and their friends appear on money orders that Mr. Brown was able to produce last year, creating a consistent pattern with comments by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ellen Epstein in court Tuesday.
Court papers said Gore destroyed the notebook that lists the payments March 6, 2011, the same day that Mr. Brown went public with his accusations through a story in The Washington Post. A federal grand jury commenced an investigation into Mr. Brown’s claims four days later.
Prosecutors said Gore obstructed justice by lying to the FBI three times during a voluntary meeting Oct. 13. He said he had not discussed records of payments to Mr. Brown with “Person A,” even though he met with him Sept. 22 to talk about what they should tell law enforcement about the payments.
Mr. Brooks has kept a low profile since Mr. Gray became mayor. He declined to testify before a D.C. Council committee that looked into Mr. Brown’s claims. A WUSA-TV (Channel 9) report in October said Mr. Brooks was cooperating with authorities and wore a wire to record conversations for prosecutors.
On Tuesday, Gore appeared to volunteer that “Person A” was wearing a wire when they discussed the payments to Mr. Brown. But his attorney, Frederick Cooke, claimed that reporters must have misheard Gore.
“I may be completely out to lunch, but I did not hear him say the word ‘wire,’” Mr. Cooke said outside the courthouse.
Gore also lied by claiming he did not make a record of payments to Mr. Brown and then maintained he shredded the notebook a week after the general election, when he really destroyed it in March 2011, according to court papers.
The falsehoods were intended to mislead the FBI and sway the grand jury because “he did not want law enforcement authorities to find out about these funds,” Ms. Epstein said.
Gore was not among the witnesses who testified before the council last year about Mr. Brown’s claims and nepotism in the Gray administration’s hiring practices. His name appears once in a committee report on the council’s findings, when Mr. Gray’s former chief of staff, Gerri Mason Hall, said she did not know Mr. Brooks‘ exact role but that he worked closely with Gore.
Gore is president and executive director of the nonprofit Associates for Renewal in Education, a position he took in 2002 after serving as executive director of the Far Southeast Family Strengthening Collaborative. In January 2011, The Washington Times reported that Associates for Renewal in Education had received more than $54 million in city contracts since 2000, and city records show the nonprofit was paid more than $500,000 in the first six months of fiscal 2012.
After his plea, Gore declined to speak to a throng of reporters and TV cameras that followed him from the courthouse door to a waiting car.
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About the Author
Tom Howell Jr. covers politics for The Washington Times. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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