Two months ago Portage County Republican Party Chairman Andrew Manning asked the FBI to look into allegations that Manning had been asked to withdraw as a candidate for the state Central Committee race and in return he would be “given influence” over state government appointments. Manning’s attorney just confirmed that the FBI is looking into the charges.
In an email received minutes ago, Attorney David R. Langdon released this statement on behalf of Manning:
“FBI agents interviewed Andrew Manning last week. He answered questions about the statements in his affidavit, which he sent to the Justice Department in March of this year, that top allies of Gov. John Kasich offered him special influence over gubernatorial appointments if he agreed not to run for the state GOP central committee.”
He will have no further comment until the investigation has concluded.
Manning’s request to the FBI and local law enforcement was the first in a series of complaints claiming Kasich and his allies used intimidation, threats and promises of influence in order to get their own people on the State Central Committee to vote out former Committee Chairman Kevin DeWine.
While Manning’s complaint focused on Governor’s office employees Ben Kaiser and David Luketic, as well as Alex Arshinkoff (Summit County GOP Chairman) and Bryan Williams (Ohio Board of Education), other complaints have since surfaced against the Governor’s closest allies Doug Preisse and Jai Chabria as well as Mary Taylor and her chief of staff.