Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen actively courted political fundraiser Christopher Schumb, the same person he’s now prosecuting for allegedly illegally raising funds for his political rival, Sheriff Laurie Smith.
The revelation is contained in a motion filed Monday morning by Schumb’s defense attorney, John Joseph Wall Jr., to have the district attorney removed from the case because of what he contends are conflicts of interest.
The motion’s exhibits contain some of what Wall says are 224 emails exchanged over the course of several years between Schumb and the DA.
In one email, Rosen asks Schumb to arrange a lunch with car wash and winery owner Frank Dorsa, whom the DA hopes will host a fundraiser at his Los Gatos estate, an idyllic 42-acre Old World vineyard with terraced rolling hills.
Calling the now-indicted attorney “a good and generous person,” Rosen asked in a 2013 email, “Also, when can we have tea with the Asian guys?”—an apparent reference to restaurant supply company owner and tea aficionado Victor Duong.
Three years later, Rosen asked again, according to emails Schumb provided, suggesting reciprocity for a past donation.
“The Victor that sells Restaurant Supplies,” Rosen wrote. “The guy where we go for Chinese New Year Lunch. The guy who had that big party several months ago for the Benevolent Society he supports for the immigrants who came from where he did. I have gone to several events for that Victor, and I would really like him to step up for me.”
One email details Schumb’s efforts to advise Rosen on restoring a vintage watch for which parts are no longer available.
Another has Rosen asking Schumb for help in buying tickets to a One Direction concert for a friend’s daughter. (The DA was careful to point out he wasn’t asking for free tickets.)
And one email includes Rosen’s suggestion that Schumb join him for lunch and help him “do a little dialing for dollars.”
A May 8, 2016, exchange thanks Schumb for his political support.
It was great having lunch and making phone calls with you yesterday.
I had a lot of fun.
Here Is the email and flyer for the re-election campaign barbecue. Please send this to your friends and associates. Thank you very much for strongly supporting my re-election.
The motion contains a declaration by Schumb in which he describes a worsening relationship in 2018 between the sheriff and the district attorney over the latter’s desire to have unrestricted access to recorded telephone calls by jail inmates.
The final exhibit is a seven-page, single spaced Jan. 8, 2019, memorandum from Rosen arguing his position on the call monitoring issue.
Just 75 days earlier, the Santa Clara County Public Safety Alliance—an independent expenditure committee supporting Smith’s re-election—filed a public disclosure of AS Solution manager Martin Nielsen’s $45,000 contribution.
Shortly thereafter, the DA’s public integrity unit began its investigation.