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Published on July 18th, 2011 | by Luis Cavalcanti

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RNC Chair Calling for DOJ to Probe Legality of Obama Fundraising Video

The RNC has called for an investigation into the legality of one of Obama’s recent campaign videos.

Filmed inside the White House, Reince Priebus, the RNC chairman called the utilization of this public resource as a backdrop a matter of “grave concern”, writing a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder stating that if “President Obama recorded the video in the Map Room, then it appears he has committed a crime under federal law”. His contention rises from the statute that indicates that the President cannot solicit donations from “a place of official government business”. And since the map room is used for quite a number of official functions, it falls under the purview of the statute.

The Whitehouse, however, has contended that it is part of the buildings residential area. Additionally, as one might expect from the shrewd politicos who are part of the Obama administration, videos of past Republican presidents utilizing the iconic building in a similar way were quickly provided.


Stopping short of calling for the calling of a Special Council, Priebus has asked that all moneys collected as a response to the video should be returned to their donors. But let’s be honest, that’s never going to happen.

Moreover, it’s probably not even illegal at all. While Priebus is not entirely incorrect about the Map Room’s use for official matters, it isn’t usually. And if it is considered part of the residence, there is a 1979 finding by the Office of Legal Council that concluded that areas considered within the discreet private residence do not fall under the statute that restricts his activities.


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Luis Cavalcanti



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