A former top fundraiser for Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) was indicted by a federal grand jury Friday for under-reporting the cost of a Hollywood event on the eve of the 2000 Democratic National Convention.
Late Friday, the Justice Department announced the four-count indictment against David Rosen, 37, who served as national finance director for Clinton’s Senate bid in 2000. The indictment alleged that Rosen’s filings to the Federal Election Commission reported in-kind contributions of $400,000 for the Aug. 12, 2000, event — roughly a third of the true cost, according to the Justice Department statement.
Although the statement did not specify that Rosen worked for Clinton, a Justice source said that the event in question was for the Clinton campaign. The source added that the Senator is not a subject and that there are no additional subjects of the investigation at this time.
Public reports, including one in October by The Associated Press, have said the event was hosted by businessman Peter Paul, a convicted felon who is currently facing stock fraud charges in New York.
Investigators have privately told reporters that their probe has centered around whether Paul’s fundraising work was done in an attempt to win a pardon by President Clinton as he left the White House — a controversy that blew up in early 2001 and caused severe political headaches for Sen. Clinton early in her term.
Clinton’s office referred comment to the Senator’s longtime private attorney, David Kendall, who did not reply to an e-mail by press time Friday evening.
The Justice release noted that in one instance Rosen obtained a “fraudulent invoice” for the cost of the entertainment for the Aug. 12 event showing the cost for music at $200,000 “when he knew that the figure had no basis in fact.” The true cost was $600,000, the Justice Department said.
The event was for New York 2000, a joint-fundraising committee that took in “hard” dollars for Clinton’s Senate campaign and the then-legal unlimited “soft” dollars for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. It was billed, according to published reports at the time, as a “Hollywood Gala Salute to President William Jefferson Clinton,” who was in attendance with his wife and their daughter, Chelsea.
At one point during the event, Michael Bolton serenaded the first couple with “When a Man Loves a Woman.”
According to a social item about Rosen in The New York Times, he has founded a political fundraising firm called the Competence Group. Two of its most recent clients include former California Gov. Gray Davis (D) and the presidential bid of retired Gen. Wesley Clark (D).
The grand jury filing the indictment is based in Los Angeles, but Justice’s department of public integrity is leading the investigation.