12:22pm PT by Eriq Gardner
Bill Cosby Rape Accuser Probes Political Donations to Former DA Who Declined to Charge Him
Brian McMonagle, one of Bill Cosby's attorneys, is looking to shut down an attempt by Andrea Constand to pry into political donations from those representing the embattled entertainer.
Constand says she was raped by Cosby in 2004, and her allegations were the focus of a civil lawsuit after Bruce Castor, the former district attorney in Montgomery County, Pa., declined to press criminal charges. Constand's lawsuit has been settled since, but after Cosby's deposition in the case admitting to giving drugs to women became revealed, the new Montgomery DA chose to pursue Cosby criminally. As for Constand, she's currently suing Castor for allegedly defaming her in comments made about her to a newspaper and on social media. "Cosby victim told police much different [story] than she told the court in her lawsuit," wrote Castor.
Constand has served a subpoena on McMonagle and is demanding all communications between him and Castor relating to Cosby, as well as "all documents relating to the campaign contributions made by you, your firm or William H. Cosby Jr. or anyone acting on his/your behalf to any campaign involving Bruce Castor since 2005 to present."
In a declaration, McMonagle admits to giving to Castor's unsuccessful campaign to retake his position as DA of Montgomery County. "In early 2015, in my capacity as a private citizen, and prior to my representation of Mr. Cosby, I donated $2,500 to Mr. Castor's campaign for District Attorney as part of a fundraiser that I, along with a number of other local lawyers, helped to organize," he said.
The political donation is noteworthy, given that prosecution of Bill Cosby became an issue in the campaign. McMonagle said he made no donation after being engaged to represent Cosby.
A memorandum in support of quashing Constand's subpoena argues that the information being sought is "irrelevant and privileged" and was issued for the purpose of harassing Cosby's attorneys.
McMonagle also is raising another concern.
The memorandum argues, "This document request is improper because it chills the First Amendment rights of Mr. McMonagle, Mr. Cosby, and their employees to be involved in the political process."