Wasserman Schultz bails on fundraiser with bundler who helps criminals get tax breaks

Matthew Boyle - The Daily Caller

Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz canceled a U.S. Virgin Islands fundraiser she planned to attend with a high-dollar bundler for President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign amid revelations the bundler helped convicted and alleged financial criminals get tax breaks.

Marjorie Rawls Roberts, who has pledged to raise between $100,000 and $200,000 for Obama’s 2012 campaign, helps her wealthy clients navigate offshore tax loopholes in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Last Thursday, The Daily Caller revealed that Roberts’ clients include recently convicted $7 billion Ponzi schemer R. Allen Stanford and alleged financial criminals from the National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corporation.

Wasserman Schultz was scheduled to appear with Roberts at 8 a.m. on Monday morning at an “Obama Victory Fund 2012” event — advertised as “Breakfast with DNC Chair, Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz” at “Walker’s by the Sea” in Lindberg Bay on St. Thomas.

In an April 7 Facebook posting, Roberts touted the upcoming event. “This is the first visit to the territory by a DNC Chair in a number of years and presents a real opportunity for Virgin Islanders to hear Chair Wasserman Schultz talk about the President’s positions on a number of issues and also permits her to learn about the U.S. Virgin Islands and the issues we face,” Roberts said in her post.

Two days after TheDC published its report on Roberts’ work helping Stanford and other alleged financial criminals get tax breaks, though, Roberts announced Wasserman Schultz canceled the event.

“Alas Debbie Wasserman Schultz had to postpone her trip to the USVI due to Congressional business but will be coming soon — and hopefully for a day or two — and I will post the exact date once I know it,” Roberts said in a Facebook post on Saturday.

As Roberts’ Saturday Facebook post is the only announcement of the cancellation publicly available, it’s unclear exactly when Wasserman Schultz canceled the event. Her congressional office claims the event was canceled long before TheDC’s report on Roberts’ clients but has not provided any evidence to back up the claim.

“It is inaccurate to say it was cancelled Saturday, as it was cancelled at least a week ago,” Jonathan Beeton, Wasserman Schultz’s congressional communications director told TheDC. “Given flight schedules and timing, we were concerned that the Congresswoman would be unable to get from VI to DC in time for votes today.”

When asked for proof that the event was canceled “at least a week ago,” Beeton did not provide any.

As of Monday morning, the event still appears on Obama’s campaign website.

Beeton also wouldn’t answer when asked if Wasserman Schultz would have still appeared with Roberts if it weren’t for what he claims were scheduling conflicts.

DNC spokesman Brad Woodhouse did not respond to requests for comment.

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