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By thisistwitchy  •  April 22, 2005 08:46 AM

The New York Sun’s Josh Gerstein is following the trail of Hillary Clinton’s Hollywood fund-raising flim-flam men. He reported earlier this week on a mystery Demo witness who “has offered a guilty plea to bank fraud charges and is likely to become a government witness at the upcoming federal trial of a top finance aide to Mrs. Clinton, David Rosen.”

Today, Gerstein identifies Mr. X as Ray Reggie–Teddy Kennedy’s brother-in-law. (A Power Line reader nailed it yesterday.) Excerpt:

At a federal court hearing yesterday morning, Reggie, 43, who organized fund-raisers for President and Mrs. Clinton, pleaded guilty to two felony charges, bank fraud and conspiracy. Prosecutors described check-kiting and loan fraud schemes he operated involving three Louisiana banks, but they did not publicly detail his cooperation with the government.

The New York Sun reported yesterday that an unnamed witness with ties to a prominent political figure has been involved in recent federal investigations of campaign fund-raising violations, including a probe into alleged financial misreporting in Mrs. Clinton’s bid for the Senate in 2000. The informant, described in court papers only as a “confidential witness,” was part of an FBI plan to secretly audiotape conversations with political operatives, including a well-known person who prosecutors said was seeking to funnel donations from foreigners to federal campaigns.

Several people with knowledge of the case identified Reggie as the informant described in the Sun article…

…The disclosure that Reggie was surreptitiously recording conversations for the FBI may have caused some heartburn yesterday for Democrats who have had contact with him since 2002.

Maybe. Probably not.

The New Orleans Times Picayune has more details:

Reggie signed on as a fund-raiser and media strategist for Clinton’s 2000 Senate campaign after years spent forging a close relationship with her husband.

A fast-rising star in Democratic fund-raising circles, Reggie volunteered in Bill Clinton’s first bid for the White House in 1992. After Clinton became president, the two struck up a pen-pal relationship and eventually became friends.

Reggie was invited to state dinners, traveled with the president on Air Force One, and was among a select group allowed to spend the night at the White House.

Reggie was also Clinton’s go-to guy whenever the president visited New Orleans. He regularly planned high-end fund-raising dinners, accompanied the president to fancy restaurants, and once persuaded the owners of Snug Harbor to make room for the ex-president in a sold-out show.

The other bagmen in the Clinton loop:

David Rosen. Former top Hillary campaign finance aide. Rosen’s indictment is here.

He faces trial for causing false donation and expenditure reports to be filed with the Federal Election Commission in connection with a Clinton fund-raising gala at Hollywood in August 2000.

Aaron Tonken. Hollywood con man sentenced to to 63 months in prison last summer for his scheme to defraud donors and underwriters in connection with his promotion and production of charitable events. In a tell-all book, “King of Cons,” Tonken recounted organizing the August 2000 fund-raiser and asserted that both Rosen and Sen. Clinton knew about his illegal financing schemes. Here’s my 2003 profile of Tonken.

Peter Paul. Tonken’s mentor, Paul is a convicted felon who was seeking access to the Clintons on behalf of his business partner Stan Lee (comic-book creator of Spiderman). Paul claims to have underwritten a Hollywood gala for the Clintons produced by Tonken in August 2000. He alleges that his direct and in-kind contributions worth $2 million were disguised in order to hide his involvement with Hillary’s campaign. He also claims that Democrat officials solicited a contribution from Paul in return for a presidential pardon he unsuccessfully sought for his two prior convictions for cocaine possession and fraud. Paul is suing the Clintons.

Here’s the NYTimes–fairweather champions of campaign finance reform–soft-pedaling the story. More background here, here, and here.

So, how long will the MSM keep giving HRC a free pass?

Others blogging…

A Conservative Voice:
Hillary Clinton Gets Pass While Delay Gets Hammered

Uncorrelated: Uh oh

Ace of Spades: “Mystery Witness” Rats on Hill & Bill Hollywood Fundraiser

Pelican Post: Goose and gander

Daily Pundit on prosecutor Peter Zeidenberg’s assertion that the scandal will receive bigtime media attention: “You kidding me? A scandal that tarnishes Hillary Clinton will receive “intense media attention?” In what universe?”

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