Report: Terry McAuliffe, Tony Rodham Received 'Unprecedented' Favoritism from DHS

Va. Gov. Terry McAuliffe / Twitter
March 24, 2015

Officials at the Department of Homeland Security gave an "unprecedented" level of special treatment to GreenTech Automotive, an electric car company run by Virginia Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe and Hillary Clinton's brother Tony Rodham, according to a report from the department’s inspector general.

The report states that McAuliffe and Rodham's treatment by DHS "created an appearance of favoritism and special access."

The Washington Post reports:

The intervention, on behalf of McAuliffe’s GreenTech Automotive company, "was unprecedented," according to the report, which noted that "staff perceived it as politically motivated." [...]

The report did not find evidence of law-breaking. It focuses on decisions by Deputy Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas that appeared to show favoritism for politically powerful applicants, notably McAuliffe.

The long-anticipated report reviewed Mayorkas’s management of the EB-5 program, which allows foreign nationals who create jobs in the United States to obtain green cards. The report concluded that Mayorkas’ actions "created an appearance of favoritism and special access.’’

McAuliffe's GreenTech Automotive was working with a company, Gulf Coast Funds Management, that specialized in obtaining EB-5 visas and was run by Rodham.

DHS Deputy Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas wrote in a response to the IG report that McAuliffe was "persistent and obnoxious" in his objections to denials of visa applications. Mayorkas recalls hearing several voicemails from McAuliffe that were "laced with expletives at a high volume."

McAuliffe also wrote a letter directly to Janet Napolitano, who was head of DHS at the time, complaining that his applications for visas were denied.

The DHS investigation into whether Mayorkas expedited the approval of visa applications after being urged to due so by Rodham began before McAuliffe was elected to be Virginia's governor in 2013.

Both GreenTech Automotive and Gulf Coast Funds Management were also being investigated by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Virginia officials feared doing business with GreenTech due to their belief that the company was a "visa-for-sale scheme."