Top film producer Harvey Weinstein appeared to admit on Thursday to engaging in sexual harassment against women. Weinstein denied parts of the New York Times report that broke the story, but conceded his past behavior "caused a lot of pain," announced he was taking a leave of absence from his company, and apologized. Though most of his power is concentrated in Hollywood, as a major donor to Democratic causes, Weinstein is powerful in Washington too.
The producer has developed deep ties to major Democrats by showering candidates and party organizations with frequent high-dollar donations. As of Thursday evening, some of those candidates have already begun unburdening themselves of his cash in anticipation of pressures brought on by the New York Times' report on his record of sexual misconduct.
A review of Weinstein's donation history available courtesy of the Center for Responsive Politics reveals he's gifted the Democratic National Committee with at least $245,790 worth of donations since 1994. Since 2002, Weinstein has donated $103,900 to Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. From 1993 to 2013, he sent the Democratic Congressional Campaign Commitee $23,200 as well.
A number of high-profile Democrats have taken money from Weinstein over the years, including Sens. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., Al Franken, D-Minn., Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif. But the two most notable recipients of Weinstein's political donations are Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, whose daughter interned with the producer's company earlier this year.
Since 1995, Weinstein donated more than a dozen times to both Bill and Hillary Clinton, though most of his cash went to Hillary. At a June 2016 funraiser Weinstein hosted in his Manhattan home, an estimated $1.8 million was raised for Clinton's presidnential campaign. According to reports, guests included Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Lopez, and Sarah Jessica Parker. According to its website, Weinstein has contributed at least six figures to the Clinton Foundation as well.
In 2012, Weinstein bundled a hefty $679,275 for President Obama's re-election campaign. As Charlie Spiering points out, Weinstein visited the White House 13 times while Obama was in office. Nine of those trips involved meetings with President Obama himself.
For Democrats, Weinstein has been a reliable source of significant financial support for years. The party now faces the task of disentangling itself from a man it spent decades embracing with open arms.
Emily Jashinsky is a commentary writer for the Washington Examiner.