- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 15, 2012

Federal prosecutors ordered D.C. Council Chairman Kwame R. Brown to turn over campaign records on Thursday, adding to the list of city lawmakers who have been linked to an investigation of one of the District’s most prolific campaign contributors.

Mr. Brown is the most high-profile official to be brought into the federal review of donations by Jeffrey E. Thompson, his companies and his associates. The U.S. attorney has not accused anyone of wrongdoing and has sent the subpoenas to officials’ campaign treasurers, not their offices at the John A. Wilson Building.

A staff member for the chairman confirmed the campaign’s receipt of the subpoena but declined to elaborate.

Mr. Brown joins council members Yvette M. Alexander, Ward 7 Democrat; Jack Evans, Ward 2 Democrat; and Phil Mendelson, at-large Democrat, as the council members asked to provide records.

A spokesman for Mayor Vincent C. Gray said earlier on Thursday that the mayor’s campaign had not received a subpoena.

NBC Washington on Thursday reported that Mr. Gray personally showed up at his headquarters one day during the 2010 campaign with as much as $100,000 in contributions from Mr. Thompson and his associates.

The television station attributed the report to two sources directly involved with Mr. Gray’s fundraising.

Other elected officials say their campaigns have not been served, while some - such as council members Marion Barry, Ward 8 Democrat, and Muriel Bowser, Ward 4 Democrat - have declined to confirm or deny receipt.

The subpoenas have been issued on a rolling basis since Tuesday, suggesting more might be served in the coming days.

Council member Tommy Wells, Ward 6 Democrat, has said he does not expect his campaign to receive one because he never took any money from Mr. Thompson’s fundraising network.

Although federal investigators have not disclosed what they are looking for, discussion around city hall suggests the use of money orders - which could be used to shroud straw donors to various campaigns - may be their focus.

Council member Vincent B. Orange, at-large Democrat hoping to hold off party challengers in an April primary election, told reporters this week he would encourage an additional review of $26,000 in money orders he received from Mr. Thompson and affiliates.

Council member Mary M. Cheh, Ward 3 Democrat, plans to introduce legislation on Tuesday that would treat money-order donations like cash contributions, capping them at $25.

• Tom Howell Jr. can be reached at thowell@washingtontimes.com.

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