We get e-mails from time to time accusing us of missing a major story, and sometimes it’s easy to miss a golden nugget in a busy news cycle, although usually they either turn out to be nothingburgers or misunderstandings. After a couple of e-mails asking us how we could have missed an FBI raid on a Hillary Clinton campaign office, I have to admit that my curiosity was a bit piqued. As it turns out, though, the FBI didn’t raid a Hillary Clinton campaign office last Friday — they raided a union hall that looked like a campaign office. In fact, the Philadelphia IBEW location looked more like a campaign office than a real campaign office would.
The story here involves allegations of corruption, but it appears to be more localized and unconnected with the Clintons. Get a load of the truck the feds brought for the haul, though:
Federal agents conducted raids Friday across Philadelphia and New Jersey, pulling truckloads of documents and computers from locations that included two rowhouses, a pub, a union hall and the political offices of a City Councilman.
A common link for all the search sites became clear immediately: the city’s most influential labor union, IBEW Local 98, and its powerful leader known by the moniker Johnny Doc.
The FBI confirmed by mid-morning that the searches and subsequent seizures of enough boxes to fill an actual rental truck were part of an “ongoing investigation,” apparently into the Philadelphia local for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.
John Dougherty, who played a major role in getting Mayor Jim Kenney elected last year and at the same time helped his brother Kevin win a seat on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, paced outside his home as agents searched inside.
It’s not as if the IBEW and Dougherty are completely unconnected to Team Hillary. As the Washington Free Beacon noted yesterday, the IBEW endorsed Hillary Clinton two months ago. Dougherty negotiated a labor agreement with the DNC for the national convention about the same time, although that’s not exactly out of the ordinary, given that Democrats always deal with the unions and Dougherty controls the local involved.
Potentially somewhat more interesting: Dougherty and Hillary had a tête-a-tête in April.
Dougherty and Kenney both attended “a very private meeting with Secretary Clinton” in April, Dougherty said in a statement at the time.
“We talked with Ms. Clinton for 20 minutes about her support of Pre-Apprenticeship Programs, diversity in the workforce, and Project Labor Agreements,” he revealed. “It was a quick but great meeting and we appreciated Secretary Clinton’s time and attention to our issues.”
It’s probably nothing much — just the usual pandering to a local interest group — but it’s not often that major-party nominees sit down with officials who end up under investigation by the FBI. Of course, it’s not often when major parties nominate someone under investigation by the FBI, either. Maybe Hillary can meet with Dougherty now and give him a few tips.
A local citizen journalist took extensive video outside the union hall during the raid on Friday. What this place needs is a few more campaign signs, amirite?