WATCH: Rob McCord Will Plead Guilty to Certain Federal Charges
Pennsylvania Treasurer Rob McCord is planning to plead guilty to federal charges related to an incident that took place when he ran for governor last year.
Robert Welsh, McCord’s lawyer, said in a statement that the charges have not been filed yet, but they will involve “his attempts in the spring of 2014 to raise campaign contributions from two potential contributors.” Welsh says McCord “[communicated] that if they failed to make campaign contributions, he could make it difficult for them to do business with the Commonwealth.”
McCord also issued a video statement (above) Friday in which he apologizes to the residents of Pennsylvania.
“I stepped over the line,” he says. “I essentially said the potential contributors should not risk making an enemy of the state treasurer. Clearly, that was wrong.”
McCord announced abruptly Thursday that he was resigning as treasurer on February 12th. News came out shortly thereafter that he was being investigated by the feds.
In his video statement, McCord also announced that he is resigning effective immediately.
Gov. Wolf issued a statement on McCord’s resignation:
“This is a sad day for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and for Rob McCord’s family. As elected leaders we should be stewards of democracy and we should act to protect hardworking taxpayers, not take advantage of them. This type of behavior leads to the erosion of the public’s trust — it is simply unacceptable. I stand firm in my commitment to restore the public’s trust in their government. Therefore, I will act as quickly as possible to present a nominee to the Senate of the highest caliber and capability.”
Here’s the full statement from McCord’s lawyer:
Our law firm Welsh & Recker represents State Treasurer Rob McCord in connection with a federal investigation. While the reports that there is a federal investigation are accurate, the reports claiming the investigation is of theft of campaign funds are false.
Mr. McCord insisted that he make a public statement on this matter because he feels he owes that to the people of Pennsylvania. But as his counsel, we cannot permit Mr. McCord to engage in a question-and-answer session with the press because it would be legally inappropriate to do so. So we are issuing his statement today through a video, rather than asking the press to travel to attend a press conference, and then not taking questions, which Mr. McCord feels would be disrespectful.
The link to Mr. McCord’s video statement is as follows: https://www.dropbox.com/s/y91dra2kg2xbexb/McCord%20Statement.mp4?dl=0
Mr. McCord has been the State Treasurer since 2008. During his unsuccessful campaign for the Democratic nomination for governor in 2014, Mr. McCord raised substantial campaign funds from a great many contributors. In addition, he made personal loans to his campaign fund totaling more than $2.1 million.
Mr. McCord will be pleading guilty to certain federal charges to be filed arising out of his attempts in the spring of 2014 to raise campaign contributions from two potential contributors by communicating that if they failed to make campaign contributions, he could make it difficult for them to do business with the Commonwealth.
There is no suggestion that Treasurer McCord stole or misused campaign funds.
Immediately upon being contacted by federal agents about these matters, Mr. McCord acknowledged that he had overstepped the line of legitimate political fundraising.
We expect that he will enter a guilty plea to federal charges to be filed in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania in the near future.
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