The Obama campaign has one prediction for a pro-Clinton 527: pain.
In a conference call just now, Obama campaign lawyer Bob Bauer predicted that the FEC would administer a smackdown to the pro-Clinton 527 American Leadership Project , predicting criminal charges against its organizers and donors, who he said were willfully breaking election law.
There would be a “reckoning,” he said.
“This is not a case where there are shades of gray,” said Bauer. “This is not a case where they will be saved by some form of ‘Philadelphia’ lawyering. This is absolutely a cold, calculated move to violate the law for the benefit of the candidate and to assume that any penalty will be so deferred to the future that the immediate benefits can be gained now without consequence. I think the miscalculation on their part is that the penalties are going to be bearable for them. But I think at the end they will prove to be unbearable for them. This is going to wind up being a very, very miserable experience for the people involved. Maybe in some respects life-changing.”
When asked how this was different from independent expenditures benefiting Obama, Bauer said, “I’m not aware of any organization to date in circumstances like this has been active on behalf of the Obama campaign with anything like our acquiescence or content or wink or nod.”
“We told them we do not wish to have any independent activity on our behalf,” said Bauer adding, “We have certainly never been in the position where it—having been perceived that we were running out of money, and immediately on the cusp of a primary election campaign, an organization sprung up by people connected to us to run ads on our behalf that we couldn’t run ourselves.”
UPDATE: The 527 in question responds.