“Basket of deplorables,” David Brock edition

David Brock, who runs neck-and-neck with Sid Blumenthal for the prime spot in Hillary Clinton’s “basket of deplorables,” has repeatedly asked for an inquiry into the Trump Foundation. Fair enough. But how about an inquiry into the affairs of David Brock and his Media Matters operation?

There are solid grounds for such an investigation. Brock may well have engaged in money laundering and he paid his ex-boyfriend $850,000 not to go to the IRS with damaging information about how Brock was running his Media Matters empire. In addition, though this predates Media Matters, he stands accused of illegally obtaining phone records.

The essence of the money laundering allegation is this:

(1) Brock operates over a dozen pro-Clinton organizations from his office in Washington, D.C.

(2) Records expose a constant flow of money between his organizations.

(3) Brock’s unregistered Professional Solicitor, the Bonner Group, receives a 12.5% cut every time money is moved.

The payoff by Brock to his long-time live-in boyfriend William Gray (whom Brock thanked in several of his books) is discussed in this Fox News article, with links to court documents and a police report, about the nasty legal battle between Brock and Gray. Brock admitted making the payments, which he characterized as blackmail.

Brock’s willingness to pay Gray nearly one million dollars certainly suggests he had something mighty important to hide.

The accusation of obtaining illegal phone records is leveled by my friend Mark Paoletta. It dates back to the 1990s when Brock was writing The Seduction of Hillary Rodham (an instructive book, which I discussed here and here) and Mark was helping him.

According to Mark, a draft of the book was mistakenly faxed to the wrong number. Desperate to find out who had received the draft (it turned out to be a Clinton loyalist), Brock persuaded a lawyer at the telephone company to retrieve the unlisted fax number from the company’s database and gave the customer’s identity to Brock. Brock reported to Mark that the phone company lawyer told Brock that providing this information was illegal and he (the lawyer) would be fired if it ever were disclosed.

Brock proceeded anyway. Using the illegally obtained information, Brock’s lawyer contacted the party to whom his book draft had been faxed and was able, through whatever means, to put out the fire.

Flash forward 20 years, and Media Matters reportedly is contemplating suing Fox News for allegedly hacking into the phone records of its officials, including David Brock. If the allegation is correct, one can understand why Media Matters might sue.

Yet, it’s ironic that, according to Mark, Brock himself engaged in similar misconduct. Indeed, one can’t help asking whether there is any sleazy conduct from which Brock would abstain.