In an ad that targets Jason Crow, Democratic candidate for Congress in Colorado’s 6th District, the Congressional Leadership Fund claims that Crow represented a convicted felon. The ad fails to provide proper context.
CLAIM: Ad narrator Ned Bishop, retired Marine and CO-6 resident: "While Veterans suffered from the V.A. scandal, Crow didn't show up for work."
9NEWS has Truth Tested this claim before, because it was used in a different ad – also by the Congressional Leadership Fund. Jason Crow's work on the Colorado Board of Veterans Affairs has nothing to do with any V.A. scandal – not about wait times, or the way over-budget and long-delayed completion of the V.A. medical center in Aurora.
But yes, as mentioned in that past Truth Test, Crow missed a third of the board’s meetings – with the majority of them excused absences.
CLAIM: Ad narrator Ned Bishop, retired Marine and CO-6 resident: "Worse, as a trial lawyer, Crow represented a corporate executive who stole millions from a veterans’ hospital.”
The case in question was USA v. Jonathan Saunders. Saunders pleaded guilty in 2015 to fraudulently winning V.A. contracts by misrepresenting that his firm employed people with disabilities. He was sentenced to serve a year in jail and ordered to pay almost $1.5 million in restitution.
Crow represented Saunders for less than a month in a trial that lasted almost two years. Saunders retained Holland & Hart, the national law firm where Crow worked, at the start of his trial.
Crow was a junior lawyer who worked out of Holland & Hart’s Denver office and was not licensed to practice in the Western District of Texas, where the case was tried. The clerk of the court told 9NEWS that Crow was removed from the case in the trial’s first month, because he never filed the paperwork and did not pay the fee required to obtain a license to practice in the district.
In essence, Crow represented Saunders in name only for 28 days, not actions.
BOTTOM LINE: The ad, for the second time, mispresents Crow's role on the Colorado Board of Veterans Affairs in relation to problems within the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. As for "representing" someone who stole millions from the VA, for 28 days that was technically true. It is misleading, however, because Crow was removed as counsel within one month, and the clerk of the court confirms he never did anything on behalf of the defendant.
*Separately from the ad, Holland & Hart’s corporate PAC, Holland & Hart LLP Federal PAC, has contributed $1,000 to Crow’s Republican opponent, Rep. Mike Coffman, in each of the last four election cycles.*