So are we seeing creeping paranoia overtake Team Clinton as the federal wolves circle her email server or is she really seeing something taking shape? Either way, Clinton’s staff is taking this seriously enough to go on record with Time Magazine and claim that James O’Keefe is stalking them and sending dark agents of intrigue into their midst.
Hillary Clinton’s campaign offices around the country have been put on alert after at least two women approached Iowa staff under the guise of being supporters in an apparent effort to catch the campaign engaging in improper or illegal activity, a Clinton campaign official said.
The motivations of the women is not known, but their alleged techniques match those of Project Veritas, the conservative group run by James O’Keefe, which specializes in undercover stings meant to embarrass liberal groups and politicians. The group declined to comment on the Clinton campaign’s allegations. “Project Veritas does not comment on investigations, real or imagined,” said Daniel Pollack, the director of communications for the group.
A Clinton campaign official alleges that the women engaged in several efforts to entrap supporters. In one scheme, described by Clinton staff, a woman attempted to pass a cash donation to Clinton volunteers and interns. In another, a woman approached the campaign on Aug. 19 and said both her parents had donated to Clinton the legal maximum of $2700 each and wanted to funnel an additional donation through their daughter, a violation of federal law.
Well, that proves basically nothing, but it certainly sounds like something right up O’Keefe’s alley. Of the three women that Clinton’s staff claims to have photos or video of, they are at least heavily implying that one of them is Laura Loomer. You may remember Loomer from the recent criminal complaint filed against her following a different Project Veritas sting where they pretended to seek help setting up a university club to support ISIS. (Apparently the filming was done without permission.) All three of the women supposedly left the same phone number with volunteers which traces back to Students for a Conservative Voice at the University of Minnesota. So with all of that in mind, I suppose it’s completely reasonable that this is actually an attempt by O’Keefe to infiltrate the campaign. (Though the mass paranoia explanation would have been more amusing.)
I’ve yet to get too carried away with “sting” operations where the activist seems to be looking to entrap some witless volunteer or back bencher who might not know all the rules with tempting offers. I’m far more of a fan of undercover work which simply reveals people engaged in the illicit activity which is suspected. For one example, the Planned Parenthood videos weren’t entrapping anyone, simply offering the opportunity to them to make a pitch and try to score some money if they wished. At that point you give them enough rope and… well, you know the rest. If the Clinton team is really taking illegal donations in violation of campaign finance rules then that most certainly needs to be brought to light, but she’s been at this for a long time and has an experienced staff. Yes, Clinton is responsible for the actions of all of her staffers in her function as captain of the ship, but I’d be highly surprised if the professionals on her forward deployed offices are that stupid. Anything’s possible, though. I’m sure we’ll find out in a few months.