- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Project Veritas Action gained entree to top Democratic operatives involved with Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid the old-fashioned way: with cash.

In a video released Wednesday, Project Veritas Action said an undercover “donor” gave $20,000 to Americans United for Change, paving the way for an internship for the fake donor’s “niece” and access to Democratic strategists Robert Creamer and Brad Woodhouse.

“The more money that was promised to Creamer, the more access Project Veritas journalists seemed to get,” the conservative group said in a Wednesday statement accompanying the release of the fourth video in its “Rigging the Election” series.

The video prompted an outraged reaction from Mr. Woodhouse, president of Americans United for Change, who blasted the release as “another lie-filled, selectively edited video from a discredited right-wing fringe activist that actually describes perfectly legal activity.”

In the latest video, Project Veritas President James O’Keefe said he set up an account in Belize in order to transfer money Sept. 9 without having it traced back to the group, but that Mr. Woodhouse returned the payment over concerns that it might represent an illegal foreign contribution.

The money was returned Oct. 20, shortly after the first Project Veritas video was released Oct. 17.

Mr. Woodhouse denied the claim, saying he refunded the $20,000 after he tracked the payment not to a Belize bank but to the Project Veritas executive director’s apartment in Stamford, Connecticut.

“No matter the source, when it was discovered that this was a Donald Trump-funded James O’Keefe scam, we returned the money because the last thing we want to be associated with is a character like O’Keefe, who has been convicted and successfully sued for his illegal tactics and fraudulent activities,” said Mr. Woodhouse.

Previous videos have shown suspected illegal coordination among Hillary for America, the Democratic National Committee and outside groups, but the latest installment points primarily to the ability of big-spending donors to reach top Democrats, including Mrs. Clinton.

At one point, Mr. Creamer was asked whether a fictitious prospective donor from Atlanta could meet Mrs. Clinton, and he replied, “OK, I’m sure that can be arranged.”

The video also offers more evidence that Mr. Creamer, who heads Democracy Partners, was consulting on behalf of Hillary for America, despite the campaign’s claims to the contrary, and that he also had worked on policy communications for President Obama.

Mr. Creamer announced last week that he would step back from the campaign, while Americans United for Change national field director Scott Foval was fired.

“Here’s what I do for the Clinton campaign, by the way. I’m a consultant to the Clinton campaign,” Mr. Creamer said in the latest video.

He added that “every morning I am on a call at 10:30 that goes over the message being driven by the campaign headquarters.”

Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook insisted Sunday that Mr. Creamer and Mr. Foval “have never had a relationship with the Clinton campaign” after both exited the presidential race last week in response to disclosures in the explosive footage.

“These individuals no longer have a relationship with the DNC. They have never had a relationship with the Clinton campaign,” Mr. Mook said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

Mr. Foval and another Democratic operative, Aaron Minter, said in the first video that they worked with Mr. Creamer on planting paid agitators at rallies to incite violence at events for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.

Mrs. Clinton refused to talk with reporters last week about dirty campaign tricks exposed in the series, saying, “I know nothing about this.”

Democrats have accused Project Veritas of doing the bidding of Mr. Trump, noting that his foundation contributed $10,000 to the group in May 2015. Project Veritas has said the donation is only a small part of its budget and had no impact on its investigation.

In the latest footage, Mr. Creamer, who is married to Rep. Jan Schakowsky, Illinois Democrat, also reminisced about his work with the Obama presidential campaigns in 2008 and 2012, saying he knew Mr. Obama before he ran for U.S. Senate in 2004.

“Barack Obama’s was the best campaign in the history of American politics. I mean, the second one. I mean, the first was good, too. I was a consultant to both. The second was everything hit on every level on every aspect,” Mr. Creamer said in the video.

Mr. Creamer, who was sentenced to five months after pleading guilty in 2005 to tax and bank fraud violations, also pointed to his role in Mr. Obama’s efforts to promote policies on issues such as immigration.

Visitor logs show he paid 342 visits to the White House since 2009, including 47 to the Oval Office.

“I do a lot of work with the White House on their issues, helping to run issue campaigns that they’re involved in, I mean for immigration reform, for the health care bill … trying to make America more like Britain when it comes to gun violence issues,” Mr. Creamer says in the video.

Last week, however, White House press secretary Josh Earnest downplayed Mr. Obama’s relationship with Mr. Creamer, saying, “I’m not sure that I can describe it because I’m not sure that there’s much of one.”

“I know that they’ve met before,” Mr. Earnest said.

But Mr. Creamer made it sound as if he and the president go way back. When asked how Mr. Obama stays consistently on message, he replies, “He’s a pro. I’ve known the president since he was a community organizer in Chicago.”

Democrats have denied that the videos reveal any illegal campaign activity. As a 501(c)4 “social-welfare” nonprofit, Americans United for Change may accept donations from U.S. citizens even if they come from foreign banks.

Mr. O’Keefe has said he plans to release more hidden-camera footage on Democratic campaign operations before the Nov. 8 election.

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