Patrick Murphy Denies Knowledge of FBI Investigation

November 3, 2016

Florida Democratic Senate candidate Patrick Murphy denied any knowledge of an FBI investigation into his campaign's use of an illegal donation scheme that allowed for a wealthy Saudi Arabian businessman to avoid contribution limits.

In a Thursday morning appearance on CNN, Murphy said that he did not know of any investigation into what is known as a "straw donor" scheme prior to Wednesday report in the Hill.

When asked whether he knew about the investigation, Murphy said, "No, and our campaign follows the letter of the law."

"We've never been contacted by the authorities," Murphy said. "No one on my campaign has been contacted."

Murphy went on to say that the report is based on "speculation." He told local newspapers that the report has "no sources" and that there is "nothing in there."

Jonathan Swan, who reported the story for the Hill, was shocked when he heard that Murphy is attacking the source of his story.

The initial complaint says that Ibrahim Al-Rashid, a high school friend of Murphy who has donated nearly $400,000 in support of Murphy's political career, was using extended family members and even his own cleaning lady to make large contributions to Murphy.

Swan reported on Wednesday that FBI agents have been visiting the homes of the individuals named in the straw donor complaint.

Al-Rashid was not an uninvolved donor—the Washington Free Beacon reported last month that Murphy and Al-Rashid appeared to have been coordinating with each other on donations to prominent Florida Democrats. Al-Rashid's ex-wife Morgan Budman, who left him after being brutally assaulted, worked on Murphy's first political campaign.

The Murphy campaign dramatically increased its legal spending over the summer after the initial complaint was made.

Swan has called on Murphy to clarify his statement that he had no knowledge of the investigation before Wednesday.