Critics slam Obama campaign for targeting Romney donors
Wall Street Journal's Kimberley Strassel on her investigation
- Duration 6:03
- Date May 11, 2012
Wall Street Journal's Kimberley Strassel on her investigation
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-- -- this Fox News alert in the meantime huge developments today in what critics call the Obama campaigns.
-- we first brought you the story back in April.
The president's own reelection team.
Launching a very public effort to call out some private citizens who are donating to support Mitt Romney's run for president.
They are private citizens as I mention.
One of those donors is apparently finding himself under increasing scrutiny he may or may not be the only one.
His name is frank Vander -- he's the CEO of a company out in Idaho.
And this guy donated a million dollars to the super pac that supports governor -- -- slowed recently discovering that a private investigator.
Was digging through his personal divorce records at a courthouse.
Why would they be doing that.
Joining me now on the phone as the reporter who broke this story.
Kimberly stress is a columnist for the Wall Street Journal -- thank you very much for being here you've been honest from the beginning.
The so called enemies list is by -- Barack Obama reelection campaign described this guy as.
-- and and the others like him wealthy individuals with less than reputable records.
And describes -- -- as being litigious combative in a bitter foe with a gay rights movement.
And -- a man named Michael Wolff who went to the court house and -- -- hometown.
And did what.
Well he had -- he contacted the courthouse and he was asking for.
As you mentioned that divorce records from mr.
-- -- -- also a case that he later expanded on his request a couple of cases.
They've dealt with did business dispute that had to do with mr.
standard -- -- company.
So like I did -- looking into this guy and I -- him back 28 aid organization in Washington DC.
Called fusion GPS and and they promote -- -- as people who do private investigation for higher and and some people may call -- the more polite term is his opposition research.
And so he seemed to be working with them and somebody -- clearly hired that the group.
To go and search through the records of mr.
Vander -- in this comes only about ten days after he was that -- -- publicly named by the present for election.
Campaign this -- Michael Wolf he is affiliated with the private investigation firm.
In some way yet that it's not clear that question was answered but when I call the private investigation Berman asked to speak to him late said that he wasn't there he'd be back in on Monday when I reached him on his personal cell phone.
He and I asked him what his connection was with -- sperm his only answer was no comment he that he didn't want to talk about that.
-- you -- you reached another mad.
Simpson who is Simpson's.
Glenn -- runs fusion GPS which -- this investigative arm he used to be a Wall Street Journal reporter he left a few years ago performance Berman again.
They promote -- without those working for clients to do private investigative research.
Now presumably if he's been hired -- we don't know he he -- not answer the question of who was hired him to do this work but.
But he yet presumably his company doesn't do work for political organizations that they asked.
And you asked mr.
Simpson with this PI firm why are you looking into the records of that.
This Mitt Romney donors it divorce and what -- sent.
Well the only answer that they have given not is that they do you mr.
And exploded quote a legitimate to end quote person of of interest to get -- some of these.
Controversies he's been involved in the past in Idaho that.
Some gay activists claim that that make him -- day.
What does mister van just let's say about this because the people named of they -- a so called enemies list whatever you wanna call it the thing that that campaign to reelect Barack Obama's posted.
Have been very silent about having been targeted but you did speak with -- -- I did and he you know he acknowledged that when he first found out his name is on the list -- very disturbed about it.
You know he felt as though he'd have a target put on the back that was the word he used.
But he said that the more he -- thought about it the more it kind of defiant he had become -- that he felt.
Isn't America you are allowed he couldn't do anything wrong he's participating in the political process he.
He's giving a donation completely legal impacted your democratic right and he's said I'm I've thought about this you know it it that makes me wanna think about writing another check.
-- this story has been reported by only a few outlets they the existence of this list what the campaign to reelect the president has been saying about these private individuals.
And now the fallout you but at the forefront of the reporting why do you think it's an important story.
Well I do think this is -- thing that really disturbs American it remind people a little bit about Nixon's enemies list.
The reason that was so worrisome to Americans is because the president -- an incredibly powerful person.
He not only had the entire government at his disposal.
But he's also -- set the tone and -- the same president who only a year ago in the wake of the Gabby Giffords shooting.
One out and said we needed more civility in politics.
And so when he instead is this setting -- model of going out and and putting -- name without heart beating them saying things about them.
And then ten days later it doesn't necessarily surprise anybody that -- find out the private investigator there rifling through this guy's.
Private records you know he he's sort of up port oil on the fire of this controversy and and it's it's not a good role model.
Is it -- need a quick answer but is there any difference it.
Between this and the attacks -- the Republicans have launched on democratic donors like Bill Maher like George Soros.
But this happens on both sides and and you could say a lot -- -- Kabul but.
Do you think that the president holds the unique role in that he the president the United States to -- the -- to protect and defend.
All Americans and so he he does play is slightly different -- Can -- thank you so much for being here with us thank you -- as -- We're taking your thoughts on -- folks follow me on Twitter at Megyn Kelly and let me know you thank you later this.