Loose Lips

Four Points From Thomas Gore’s Guilty Plea

Vince Gray Aide Thomas Gore Pleads Guilty

Mayor Vince Gray's close pal and trusted campaign aide Thomas Gore pleaded guilty today to illegally steering funds from Gray's mayoral campaign to fringe candidate Sulaimon Brown's campaign, then destroying the evidence of the crimes in order to stymy an FBI investigation.

A few noteworthy tidbits from today's court hearing:

1) Don't take notes when you're breaking the law.

Another Gray campaign aide, Howard Brooks, could very likely have been wearing a wire to help the federal investigation, which would confirm what some of the old lions of TV reported way back in October. Court records describe a "Person A" who conspired with Gore to "secretly [divert] funds" from Gray's campaign to Brown's campaign in order to keep Brown in the race so he could continue to badmouth then-Mayor Adrian Fenty. The records also say that Person A's family member and people connected to that family member are connected to the Gray-campaign-financed money orders that wound up going to Brown's campaign. Those details, plus the serial numbers of the money orders, all point to Person A being Brooks.

The court records says Gore and Person A met Sept. 22, 2011, at Gore's office to plan how to deal with the federal investigation into Gray's campaign. The court records quote Gore verbatim saying that he "used to keep a record of what went to" Brown and that he "shredded" those records. In court today, when the judge was going over the court records to make sure Gore knew what he was pleading guilty to, Gore said that conversation "was a statement taken from a wire." That's Gore's guess, of course, and he could very well be wrong.

Brooks' attorney, Glenn Ivey, says he had no comment. Either way, if Gore hadn't written down records of the donations, he wouldn't have had to destroy evidence in a federal investigation—by far the most serious charge he pleaded guilty to today.

2) If you're going to meet with the FBI, don't lie to them.

Court records also say that less than a month after Gore met with Person A to talk about how to deal with the feds, he voluntarily met with FBI agents. (He'd been given a subpoena to appear before a federal grand jury a week before the FBI meeting.) During the interview, Gore lied to the FBI three times. First, he said he hadn't spoken to Person A about any records. Second, he said he never kept any records of paying Brown. The FBI must have called him on that lie, because his third lie was saying that he destroyed the records of Brown's payments after the general election, when in fact he did that on the very same day Brown's allegations of a quid pro quo first landed on the front page of the Washington Post.

3) You mean multiple people thought this was a good idea?

Court records indicate that Gore did not act alone in hatching the woefully stupid plan to fund Brown to keep him in the race. Court records say Gore acted in concert with "other members" of the Gray campaign. Who are the others, and do they also have a date with federal prosecutors looming?

4) Bad money coming in means bad money going out.

Court records also say Gore converted "excessive or unattributed cash contributions" given to the Gray campaign into the money orders that went to Brown. Where'd that extra money come from? The Post reported last summer that the Gray campaign had the unusual, if not illegal, practice of taking cash donations over the $25 limit and converting them into money orders. Who knew those money orders may have actually been for someone else's campaign!

Photo by Darrow Montgomery

  • Gold Coast Kid

    this is exciting!!

  • Truth hurts

    Tick, tick, tick.... A whole lotta one city folks will go down before it's over. I know, the truth hurts.

  • Star Spangled

    I heard DC got a new Go-Go band coming out soon and comprised of DC Politicians called "Fifth Amendment." And they are doing a remake of Chuck Brown's "Run Joe."

    "Mo and Joe had a candy store
    Tellin' fortune behind a door
    Cops grabbed Mo and as Joe ran out
    Brother Mo then began to shout
    Run Joe, eh de police at de door
    Run Joe and he won't let me go
    Run Joe, run as fast as you can
    Run Joe de police holdin' me han'
    Ask Juanita to stand me bail
    Don't want to sleep in this rotten jail
    Hide de crystal ball by de fence
    So dey won't find no evidence
    When you reach home get in de bed
    Call a doctor and tie your head
    Tell Juanita invent a lie
    Got to have a good alibi
    Run Joe, eh de police at de door
    Run Joe and he won't let me go
    Run Joe, run as fast as you can
    Run Joe de police holdin' me han'
    Go get a mouthpiece to talk for me
    Oh, they'll sure give me de third degree
    When dey take me before de sarge
    I am going to deny de charge
    If de judge ask me how I plead
    Not guilty sir, most decidedly..."

  • NE John

    Did Gray ever fix that illegally tall fence on his property? Ah yes, everyone forgot about that crime. It's all coming home to roost Mr. Gray.

  • 16th Street Heights

    What a mess and circus this have turned into. Mayor Gray and D.C. Council Chairman Kwame Brown is going down with Harry Thomas Jr.

  • http://btolson1@verizonnet.com Sinking Ships

    The treasurer Brown the one who took 100k from the campaign will be next- IRS will get her for tax evasion.. Then the shadow campaign will begin....

    Vernon, Jeannie, Lorraine.... Can you sleep?? LOL

    Even a full live stroke would be a level of treatment that you clearly do not deserve Vince.

  • http://btolson1@verizonnet.com Susan

    CERTAINLY SIGNS OF A DEAD MAN WALKING...

  • RealDC

    This is some dumb monkey shit here! Oh my these bamas are toast but Gray will survive. Ineffective and crippled he will become.

  • DJ Ren

    @RealDC: He'll BECOME ineffective? Where have you been for the past two years - Vince was never effective to begin with!

    Indictment Summer 2012!

  • re-elect Gray 2014

    Vince Gray is innocent and had nothing to do with any illegal activity involving his campaign. Let's not forget that his platform for the 2010 election was "integrity, character, leadership." Let's move forward past the election in which YOUR guy Fenty was handily defeated by Ward 5, 7, and 8 voters then represented by HTJ, Gray/KBrown and Barry!

  • dave b

    I dont care if Gray gets caught or not. He is mostly harmless (unless an investigation finds otherwise) and old. Kwame Brown really needs to go though. Dude is just an indebted moron and crooked. You should be able to go to jail for being a moron. Absent that, might as well get him for being crooked. I find it impossible that he was able to cover his tracks

  • dave b

    This investigation could be a good sixth season of The Wire

  • Truth hurts

    Gray will be indicted. On charges far more serious than the S. Brown payoff. Mark my words, folks. It's gonna happen.

  • Luva

    It was all good just a week ago! "Jay-Z voice"

...