Anonymous U.S. officials leaked confidential information to the press on Monday that Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe is under investigation by the Justice Department (DOJ) for campaign donations received in 2013 from a Chinese foreign national.
It is believed that Virginia’s governor is also being probed for other undisclosed allegations, but more specifics have yet to be revealed.
The one-known charge is that McAuliffe accepted $120,000 for his gubernatorial campaign from businessman Wang Wenliang, owner of a U.S.-based shipping company that transports soybeans through ports in Virginia.
Contributions to political campaigns from foreigners are prohibited under U.S. law, but Wang has obtained legal residency status while also retaining his official Chinese citizenship.
The current governor’s long-standing ties to the Clintons make the ongoing investigation even more relevant to the national political scene, as McAuliffe served as then-Gov. Clinton’s campaign chair and again in 1996 and his reelection campaign chairman.
In 2000, McAuliffe was named chairman of the Democratic National Committee and later sat on the board of the Clinton Global Initiative — established after the former president left the White House in 2001.
Earlier in 2016, it was widely reported that Wang promised the Clinton’s charitable organization a donation of $2 million, a development which McAuliffe claims the current DOJ investigation “has nothing to do with”.
“This was an allegation of a gentleman who gave a check to my campaign,” the governor said Tuesday. “I didn’t bring the donor in. I didn’t bring him into the Clinton Foundation.”
Gov. McAuliffe then went on to tout his work with the Clinton’s charity as an honorable endeavor.
“I’ve traveled all over the globe with Bill Clinton . . . I’ve traveled to Malawi and seen him with young women businesses over there. They have really done great, spectacular work to help people’s lives,” McAuliffe boasted.
Despite the denial, the Clinton Foundation has been a source of controversy for the political power-couple, especially during the former First Lady’s tenure serving as Secretary of State. In February 2015, Clinton was exposed by the Wall Street Journal for allegedly using her office to funnel corporate donations to the family’s charity in exchange for foreign government contracts.
Now that Terry McAuliffe is involved, the Foundation’s ties to political bribery could be found to run to the state-level, a charge not previously made public by the mainstream media.
The DOJ investigation is being handled by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia, which serves the northern Commonwealth, Richmond and Tidewater regions.
[Washington Post] [CNN] [Politico] [Photo courtesy still4hill.com]