Two presidential candidates and the campaign committees associated with them are asking for donations to solve a mystery.
The wrangling between Mr. Trump and Ms. Clinton is over an obscure and sluggish state, Veracruz.
The campaign committees for Mr. Trump and Ms. Clinton each say they need $15,000 to look into the scandal. Veracruz is on the southwest coast of Mexico, near the Yucatan Peninsula, just days from Rio Grande Valley, Texas.
The widespread rumor is that Mr. Trump’s former personal aide, Gary Cohn, sold his property there and took refuge in Costa Rica. One document said Mr. Cohn was “staying in a hotel in Costa Rica.”
The conspiracy theory is now circulating. Mexican City newspaper El Universal reported that there is not a hotel in Costa Rica but a farm with a lake. Veracruz police, meanwhile, have sent officers to Costa Rica to investigate.
If you have any leads to this situation, please send your information to RutenbergSq[email protected] — Sandy Rutenberg (@SandyRutenberg) July 23, 2016
Both campaigns say they want to investigate the story, though they are different with respect to what they are asking for. Ms. Clinton’s campaign has asked for $7,000 to study just one aspect of the story: Could a foreign country spy on a Trump adviser? Her campaign is asking $2,500 to ask a state comptroller for an audit of a U.S. passport issue. It’s another federal violation.
Mr. Trump’s campaign, meanwhile, has asked for $15,000 to look into Ms. Clinton’s membership at the University of Texas at El Paso, a major research university in one of the state’s most dangerous areas. The campaign asks for $8,000 to fund checks sent to the school.
Neither request can be paid from a campaign account. Both requests take time.
“Several reporters working on this story are working diligently and have made some progress, but a report on the results of an investigation is being delayed,” said Josh Mooney, a spokesman for the Clinton campaign.
“Some White House/Donald Trump hangers-on who are making the false allegations have begun asking for money to investigate the accusations,” said Victor Matheson, an associate professor of political science at Holy Cross University.
Mr. Matheson said that this scenario can be heard in similar cases from time to time, like when former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was questioned during the 2008 Democratic primary by reporters from The New York Times who were providing evidence. Mr. Matheson said it’s likely the Trump campaign has learned from such false allegations in the past.
“The campaign I think is probably rightfully concerned that they’re going to get caught up in a scandal themselves,” Mr. Matheson said.
We’ll keep you posted on progress, and you can share your ideas with us, too.
Ms. Clinton’s campaign seems to have named-dropped the Boston Globe, which was instrumental in exposing the lies Mr. Trump told about his business career in the 1980s.
“I find it both laughable and sad,” said Bob Beckel, a senior adviser to Mr. Trump. “We would love to have the reporters who broke the McCain/Palin story, go out and look at the house, and the apartment of the private investigator.”