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The FBI has agreed to join the Colorado Bureau of Investigation in investigating how Bob Beauprez’ campaign got confidential criminal records regarding a defendant prosecuted during Bill Ritter’s tenure as District Attorney that it later used in an ad attacking Ritter.
State investigators are looking into whether the ad illegally used information from a federal law enforcement database.
“Because this is a federally controlled and regulated system, CBI has requested the assistance of the FBI to further pursue the investigation,” CBI director Robert Cantwell said today. “The FBI and CBI will be working jointly to complete the investigation.” Democrat Bill Ritter’s campaign has suggested the information did come from the federal crime records. Beauprez spokesman John Marshall has said the details came from an informant, whom he refused to identify.
The question is: did Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob Beauprez’s campaign break federal or state laws by illegally accessing the highly restricted National Crime Information Center (NCIC) database?
Beauprez continues to refuse to disclose how he got the information. He’s referred to his source as an “informant” and has tried to hide behind a kind of journalist’s privilege, which of course, is ridiculous. A political campaign is not a journalist. Not to mention, as New York Times reporter Judith Miller learned the hard way, there is no privilege when it comes to a federal criminal investigation.
This is the last thing Beauprez needs in the weeks preceding the election. But, it was stupid of his campaign not to realize it was using confidential records. Beauprez approved the ad against Ritter in which the confidential records were used.
Sooner or later, the source will be revealed. I wonder which law enforcement officer or state or federal employee is going to be out of a job. The possibilities are numerous.