WASHINGTON - Former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli told FOX 5 that he is encouraged to hear about the FBI raid that took place at the offices of a GOP consulting firm his campaign sued three years ago.
The search that was conducted Thursday at the offices of the Strategic Campaign Group in Annapolis, Maryland, was initiated by the FBI Washington Field Office and is connected to an investigation into campaign funds for Cuccinelli's 2013 run for the governor of Virginia. It is a race he lost to current Democrat governor Terry McAuliffe.
Cuccinelli sued Strategic Campaign Group for forming a political action committee that was taking donations said to be used to help fund the Republican gubernatorial candidate's campaign. However, Cuccinelli said his campaign did not see a dollar from that PAC, leading to the lawsuit which was settled for roughly $85,000.
"They raised all this money on my name, my campaign and my picture, and they used all these pieces," the former Virginia attorney general said. "A lot of people who donated thought they were donating to the campaign and they raised hundreds of thousands of dollars we identified just on that basis. Much less than the $2-plus million they raised just in 2013 carrying on similarly false activities."
Cuccinelli told FOX 5 that he is relieved the FBI is investigating the group, which he referred to as a scam.
"This is a political fundraising swamp," he said. "The scam PACs are real and they exist all over the country and they pray on people's intense feelings about politics."
He added, "They go out and ride the back of [Wisconsin Gov.] Scott Walker, Mitt Romney when he was running for president, Allen West for Congress, our race for the governorship. They pick whatever does the best for fundraising that year and they ride it. They pay themselves consultant fees, they spend single-digit percentages on politics - donating to candidates, doing A, B, or C that might actually move the political ball forward - and all the rest of it is just to run the system, to raise the money and to pay themselves and their vendors and so forth."
Cuccinelli said had his campaign received any of this money, he does not believe that that would have tipped the scale in favor of a win in the 2013 race.
Cuccinelli said the FBI has not made contact with his office.