CNN: McAuliffe Under Federal Investigation Regarding Campaign Fundraising

• May 23, 2016 5:02 pm


Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D.) is under federal investigation over campaign fundraising, CNN reported exclusively on Monday.

McAuliffe, a longtime ally of Bill and Hillary Clinton and the former Chairman of the Democratic National Committee, has been under investigation by the FBI and the Department of Justice's public integrity unit dating at least into last year, according to CNN justice correspondent Evan Perez.

"This is looking into donations to McAuliffe's 2013 campaign for governor," Perez said. "At least part of the focus has been on campaign donations, and whether or not they violated the law."

Part of the probe has delved into McAuliffe's tenure as a board member for the Clinton Global Initiative, although Perez said there were no allegations of wrongdoing by that organization or the Clintons.

One donation that drew particular interest was $120,000 Wang Wenliang, a Chinese businessman who has also donated $2 million to the Clinton Foundation. The McAuliffe campaign stressed his donation was legal, CNN reports:

Among the McAuliffe donations that drew the interest of the investigators was $120,000 from a Chinese businessman, Wang Wenliang, through his U.S. businesses. Wang was previously delegate to China's National People's Congress, the country's ceremonial legislature.

"Neither the Governor nor his former campaign has knowledge of this matter, but as reported, contributions to the campaign from Mr. Wang were completely lawful," said Elias.

Wang also has been a donor to the Clinton foundation, pledging $2 million. He also has been a prolific donor to other causes, including to New York University, Harvard and environmental issues in Florida.

U.S. election law prohibits foreign nationals from donating to federal, state or local elections. Penalties for violations include fines and/or imprisonment.

Perez reported Wang's spokeswoman said he has not been contacted by investigators.

"We don't know what else the investigators may still be looking at, but we do know that this is still an active, ongoing investigation," Perez said.

McAuliffe was elected in 2013 to the governorship, narrowly defeating Republican opponent Ken Cuccinelli and Libertarian Robert Sarvis. He recently made national headlines by restoring voting rights to more than 200,000 felons via executive order.

Published under: Campaign Finance, CNN, FBI, Terry McAuliffe