Dems returned $20G check to father of White House aide linked to prostitution scandal

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The father of a White House advance team member connected to the Secret Service prostitution scandal was refunded a hefty Obama campaign donation, records show, around the same time additional details about that possible link were made public.

The $20,000 donation was made by Leslie Dach -- whose son Jonathan has been linked to the scandal -- on Sept. 19, 2012, to the Obama Victory Fund.

One day later, Leslie Dach had a meeting at the White House with a top presidential economic adviser, according to White House visitor logs. One day after that, the lead federal investigator into the Colombia prostitution scandal said for the first time that White House personnel may have been involved in the incident.

On Sept. 24, 2012, campaign finance records show, the Obama Victory Fund returned the $20,000 donation to Leslie Dach.

The chain of events might be coincidental, but nevertheless raises questions about Dach’s interactions with both the Obama administration and Democratic campaign officials.

The Federal Election Commission filing that listed the refund to Dach did not give a reason. But his attorney Richard Sauber told in an email that the money was returned because Dach did not attend a fundraising event as planned -- and “so the check (he thought) was either returned or not cashed.”

Sauber said Dach could not recall the details of the event. It was a high time for fundraisers, less than two months before the presidential election. On the day the donation was dated, a star-studded Obama Victory Fund fundraiser – attended by Gwyneth Paltrow and other celebrities -- was held in London which guests paid $15,000 to attend, according to press reports at the time. It’s unclear if this is the event Dach’s lawyer says he missed.

Sauber also said the Sept. 20 meeting with Eugene Sperling, then director of the National Economic Council, was “unrelated” to the campaign contribution. At the time, Dach was working as lobbyist for Wal-Mart.

Dach has been a major donor to Democratic candidates since the 1990’s. He gave $28,500 in 2008 to Obama and the Democratic Party to shore up Obama’s election bid.

Records also show he gave $2,300 to Hillary Clinton before she lost the Democratic nomination to Obama and $1,000 for her New York Senate race in 2000. Other prominent Democratic recipients include: Bill Clinton ($1,000); Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy ($2,250); and former Arkansas Sen. Blanche Lincoln ($3,800).

The Dach family has been in the spotlight after The Washington Post reported late Wednesday that on the trip where Secret Service agents were caught with prostitutes, a woman was registered to Jonathan Dach’s hotel room shortly after midnight one night. Dach was a member of the White House advance team on the trip, reportedly as a volunteer.

The White House has denied that any member of their team was involved in inappropriate behavior and said previously that the volunteer was wrongly implicated based on inaccurate hotel records. The White House on Thursday stood by those claims. Sauber also said the allegations in the Post were “utterly and completely false.”