Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation raided the offices of a Maryland political consulting firm closely tied to the Rupublican Party Thursday. According to NBC 4 Washington, the investigation into Strategic Campaign Group is tied to a lawsuit over the 2013 Virginia governor's race. It is the latest headline grabbing news for the Bureau, who earlier in the week saw the dismissal of embattled director James Comey by President Donald Trump, and continue to investigate possible Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. Presidential election.
“WINNING REPUBLICAN CAMPAIGNS FOR MORE THAN 1O YEARS” reads a banner across the top of Strategic Campaign Group’s website. However, Virginia Republican gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli sued the company following his 2013 loss to Democrat Terry McAuliffe. In his suit, Cuccinelli alleged that a political action committee set up by Strategic Campaign Group raised more than $2.2 million based on pledges to support the Cuccinelli campaign, yet in the end only gave the candidate $10,000. The company settled with Cuccinelli in 2015, agreeing to pay his gubernatorial campaign $85,000. In an interview with The Washington Post, Strategic Campaign Group president Kelley Rogers said “Our suspicion is that this is just a carry-over from that.”
FBI agents arrived at the company’s Annapolis, Maryland offices around 8:30 Thursday morning and immediately taped garbage bags over windows to prevent onlookers from seeing inside, according to CBS News. The investigation carried on through the day, with agents leaving with files and a computer shortly after 4 p.m. The FBI released few details about the raid, except that it was part of an investigation being run out of the Bureau’s Washington D.C. field office. NBC reports that Cuccinelli claimed not to have been in touch with federal law enforcement officials in regards to Strategic Campaign Group, but that he is "curious" to see where the investigation goes. For his part, Kelley Rogers said: “I think the facts speak for themselves, and we tried to give the agents all the information they could possibly need.”