CINCINNATI (TDB) -- Ohioan Mercer Reynolds III was the 2004 national finance chairman of the Bush-Cheney presidential campaign, and was among the team of heavy hitters who raised money for the unsuccessful defense of Scooter Libby, who was found guilty of lying, perjury and obstructing justice today. Jack Kemp, who is on the board of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center on the Ohio River in downtown Cincinnati, also is on the Libby-backers list with Reynolds.
Vice President Dick Cheney has called his former chief of staff "one of the most capable and talented individuals I have known," but special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald said the guilty verdict on four of five counts showed Libby was a liar.
"When somebody doesn't tell the truth to the system, everybody suffers," Fitzgerald said. The defense plans an appeal, which probably means the fundraising committee will continue its work.
Many prominent conservatives such as Reynolds, a Cincinnatian who is co-chairman of the Reynolds, Dewitt & Co. investment company, refused to abandon Libby and chose to help him fight the criminal charges. His legal problems grew out of the outing of CIA agent Valerie Plame.
Reynolds started the investment company in 1979 with DeWitt, who now owns the St. Louis Cardinals baseball team. For a time DeWitt was President George W. Bush's partner in the the Texas Rangers. After the 2000 election, Bush named Reynolds ambassador to Switzerland and Lichtenstein, a diplomatic post he left to raise funds for the 2004 presidental campaign. He co-chaired the 55th presidential inaugural committee.