The New Mexico Democratic party chairman was given access to at least one illegally obtained email from the campaign of the state’s Republican governor, according to federal investigators. For nearly a year, the FBI has been investigating the hacking of email accounts owned by the 2010 campaign of Republican Susana Martinez, and last week, a former campaign manager of Martinez’s, Jamie Estrada, was indicted for intercepting several emails and distributing them to the public. Questions remained about how critics of Martinez, including a liberal activist and the Democratic attorney general, received many of those emails intercepted by Estrada. Now, the FBI has released more findings that others in the state’s Democratic circles have connections to the email theft.
Sam Bregman, an Albuquerque lawyer and the head of the state Democratic party since April, was forwarded one of the intercepted emails from Democratic consultant Jason Loera, who also worked for Bregman’s Grassroots New Mexico PAC, in September 2011. At the time, Bregman was representing a client who had been fired from a job with the state government. According to an FBI affidavit, Bregman filed a copy of that email as an exhibit in his case against the Martinez administration. The email, which had been sent from an account already suspected to have been Loera’s, caught the attention of investigators, since it was sent during the period when the Martinez email accounts were understood to have been hacked by Estrada.
The FBI soon discovered that Loera had been in contact with both Estrada and another estranged Martinez campaign employee, Anissa Ford, and that the three had had exchanges regarding the stolen emails. That eventually led the FBI to Loera’s home, where they happened to discover discs of child pornography (Loera was arrested on these charges late last week). Here’s more from local CBS affiliate KRQE:
A call for comment from Bregman has not been returned, but the state party chairman did release a statement Thursday on the party’s website and Facebook page, criticizing Martinez and adding that he will “not make further comments regarding the criminal investigation.”