Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonHeller won't say if Biden won election Whitmer trailing GOP challenger by 6 points in Michigan governor race: poll GOP political operatives indicted over illegal campaign contribution from Russian national in 2016 MORE has taken nearly $250,000 in political donations from the lawyers who investigated the “Deflategate” controversy involving the New England Patriots.
Now Republicans are piling on, hoping Clinton’s ties to the lawyers will turn off Patriots fans ahead of New Hampshire’s Feb. 9 primary.
The communications director of Karl Rove’s American Crossroads group is a Patriots fan and plans to use his megaphone to inform New Hampshire voters of Clinton’s “disgrace.”
“If Hillary Clinton wants to convince New Hampshire voters that she shares their values, taking a quarter of a million dollars in campaign cash from Ted Wells and his law firm isn’t the way to go about it,” said Ian Prior.
Clinton, who trails Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in New Hampshire, received at least $222,891 from employees of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP through the end of 2015.
Clinton has also received the maximum donation of $2,700 from the firm’s attorney Ted Wells, who led the controversial investigation into the Patriots and quarterback Tom Brady.
Wells's legal team landed on Patriots fans' enemies list when NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell praised it for a “thorough and independent investigation” that ultimately found accusations of the Patriots deliberately deflating footballs in last season’s AFC Championship Game “more probable than not."
Goodell suspended Brady for four games, but a federal judge overturned the decision.
Clinton has not offered an opinion on Deflategate, and her campaign did not respond to a request for comment on this story.
A number of the Republicans running for president weighed in on Brady’s behalf early in the campaign season.
Billionaire Donald Trump, who describes the quarterback as a friend, has condemned the investigation. So have Texas Sen. Ted Cruz —who said Brady was framed — Ohio Gov. John Kasich and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.