Clinton Supporter Bill de Blasio Facing Investigation Close to NY Primary

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio / AP
April 11, 2016

With the New York primary election just a week away, Hillary Clinton advocate Mayor Bill de Blasio is under investigation for potential ethics violations surrounding his fundraising activities.

The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday:

Investigators led by the U.S. attorney’s office in Manhattan are looking at whether donations to Mr. de Blasio and a group aligned with him were made in exchange for some kind of official act, people familiar with the matter said. On Sunday, Mr. de Blasio said, "Everything we’ve done is appropriate." Reports about the investigation come as the Democratic mayor seeks to play a prominent role supporting Mrs. Clinton in advance of the April 19 primary. Mr. de Blasio served as Mrs. Clinton’s campaign manager during her successful bid for a U.S. Senate seat in New York in 2000.

On Sunday, De Blasio told NBC's Meet the Press moderator Chuck Todd that he believed he would be cleared of misconduct and that his office had not yet received information about an investigation.

De Blasio is also facing scrutiny for allegedly violating conflict of interest laws after being accused of strong-arming Sen. Bernie Sanders (I, Vt.) into agreeing to a presidential debate date favored by Clinton. The Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust, an ethics watchdog group, said the mayor lured the self-described Democratic socialist into agreeing to the April 14 debate by granting him city permits for a rally in New York later this month.

Sanders initially had a rally planned in New York City that same day and had already secured the needed permits, but pressure from de Blasio pushed him to delay the event. FACT said de Blasio's offer advanced Clinton's interests and violated city laws.

America Rising, a Republican political action committee, filed a Freedom of Information request to de Blasio's office to determine whether the mayor inappropriately used city resources to benefit a political campaign.

De Blasio endorsed Clinton in October, lauding the former secretary of state for having a "sharp progressive platform.

Clinton is leading Sanders in New York by 26 points, according to a new Fox News poll. The primary will take place April 19. Two hundred ninety-one delegates are up for grabs.