BALTIMORE (WJZ) — New details are out about a Maryland political firm that raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for the campaigns of national and local lawmakers, as new reaction emerges from Maryland Governor Hogan.
Strategic campaign group remains closed and parts of their website have now been removed and their tweets protected. This comes one day after six FBI agents raided the Annapolis firm, which called itself “one of the top political consulting firms for Republican candidates and conservative organizations in the country.”
SCG has raised big money for top Maryland republicans. The firm’s President Kelley Rogers previously told the Washington Post he was a cheerleader for Governor Larry Hogan. The governor spoke to WJZ reporter Mike Hellgren about the raid.
“I don’t really know any of the details of it. It sounds like something about a case in Virginia, but we have no involvement with that group at all,” says Hogan.
SCG representatives tell reporters they believe the raid deals with former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli’s campaign for Governor in 2013.
Cuccinelli sued, accusing the consulting firm of raising millions of dollars under his name and never used it on his campaign. He since settled but in a new interview had strong words against the consulting firm, accusing them of running a scam.
“This is a political fundraising swamp, these scam-pacs are real, they exist all over the country and they prey on people’s intense feelings about politics,” says Cuccinelli.
SCG has strongly denied these accusations. Some believe the raid is bigger than that and that it has ties to the investigation into Russian election meddling.
One of the consulting groups principals has ties to political lobbyist and consultant Paul Manafort, who is the Trump campaign chairman who is part of the Russia probe.
The FBI would not confirm nor deny anything about what they’ve been looking for in the raid.
“They pick whatever does the best for fundraising that year. And they ride it,” says Cuccinelli.
The FBI’s Washington office is handling this investigation and no one has been charged with any wrongdoing.
Strategic Campaign Group has been in business for the last seven years.