FitzGerald Campaign Communications Director Daniel McElhatton released the following statement on Governor Kasich’s refusal to obey a subpoena requiring him to testify in the Benjamin Suarez trial. Suarez is on trial for a pay-to-play campaign finance scheme involving Governor Kasich, Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel, and U.S. Congressman Jim Rennaci.
Governor Kasich asked a federal judge to deny the subpoena today on the basis he had “no first hand knowledge of the case” despite the fact that his chief legal counsel wrote a letter to the California Attorney General on Suarez’s behalf.
“The fact that Ben Suarez has issued a subpoena on Governor Kasich compelling him to testify is his defense trial shows just how close Mr. Suarez and the Governor once were. Governor Kasich’s administration was the first to intervene in California on Suarez’s behalf, after Suarez contributed more that $22,000 to the Governor’s campaign. In fighting the subpoena the question is: what is the Governor afraid of and why is he refusing to simply answer questions? Governor Kasich is directly tied to this pay-to-play corruption trial and, in fighting this subpoena, he is trying to avoid questions under oath about how deeply involved he was in helping Mr. Suarez.”
Statement on Kasich’s Denial of Involvement in Suarez Scheme
6.24.14 – FitzGerald Campaign Communications Director Daniel McElhatton released the following statement on Governor Kasich’s repeated denials of his involvement in the Suarez pay-to-play scheme today. At a press conference, the Governor said the following about the subpoena requiring him to testify for Mr. Suarez:
1. Called the subpoena a “fishing expedition”
2. Stated he “wasn’t involved” with the letter sent by his chief legal counsel
3. Insisted “I don’t have anything to do with that”
4. Claimed “I have no idea what that is all about”
5. Admitted “I may have had a meeting with Suarez or something long ago, but I’m not involved in anyway”
“Governor Kasich’s comments regarding his refusal to testify in the trail of a major contributor to his campaign requires some scrutiny. The facts are clear. After initially denying Suarez’s request on March 30, 2011, Governor Kasich’s top aide ultimately acquiesced to Mr. Suarez’s request on April 25, 2011 and sent a letter to the California AG on Suarez’s behalf. What has not been answered is: what occurred in the Governor’s office between March 30th and April 25th that resulted in Governor Kasich’s top aide sending a letter on Suarez behalf?”