Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe is under investigation by the FBI and Justice Department to determine whether his 2013 gubernatorial campaign broke any fundraising laws, CNN reported Monday. The main drift of the probe appears to revolve around McAuliffe’s time as a board member of the Clinton Global Initiative and the overlap of donors to the Clinton Foundation and his campaign for governor. More than 100 donors contributed to the foundation, as well as to McAuliffe’s campaign, NBC News reports.
Simple overlap would not necessarily indicate any wrongdoing on McAuliffe’s behalf; the Clinton friend and ally has been a long-time Democratic fundraiser as head of the Democratic National Committee from 2000 to 2005 and later for Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign. Officials tell CNN there are no allegations against the Clinton Foundation, but that there are questions about some foreign donors, particularly Chinese businessman Wang Wenliang.
Here’s more from CNN:
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. 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. But Wang holds U.S. permanent resident status, according to a spokeswoman, which would make him a U.S. person under election law and eligible to donate to McAuliffe’s campaign.
The federal investigation dates back to last year, but was not disclosed to McAuliffe. “The Governor will certainly cooperate with the government if he is contacted about it,” an attorney for the McAuliffe campaign told CNN in a statement.