On Monday afternoon, news broke that Virginia’s Democratic Governor Terry McAuliffe was being investigated by the FBI for illegal campaign contributions. “We know that this investigation dates back at least into last year and this is looking into donations to McAuliffe's 2013 campaign for governor,” reported CNN’s Evan Perez on The Lead with Jake Tapper. It’s not every day that a sitting state governor gets investigated for illegal contributions, yet none of the big three news networks decided to report it in there evening broadcasts.
In addition to being the Governor of Virginia, McAuliffe is also a longtime friend of the Clinton family. He’s so close to the family, in fact, that he sat on the board of the Clinton Global Initiative. “As part of this investigation the FBI has gone back to look at McAuliffe’s time as board member for the Clinton Global Initiative, that’s the foundation that was set up by former President Bill Clinton and his family,” continued Perez. Although he did mention that there have been no allegations of wrongdoing by the Clinton Foundation in this matter, so far.
The investigation centers around roughly $120,000 in donations from a Chinese businessman named Wang Wenliang. According to Perez Wang made the contributions through a US based company that he is the owner of. “It's illegal for foreign nationals to make campaign donations to any U.S. Election, but a spokeswoman says that Wang holds a U.S. Green Card.” Perez said, “So, that would make those donations legal under campaign finance law.”
Wang’s generous gifts did’t stop there. He had also given money to the Clinton Foundation.
The investigation seems to be new and not much has come out yet. But with a story dripping with this much intrigue it’s a wonder the networks, included Univision and Telemudo, neglected to cover it. Or is it?
May 23, 2016
4:29:07 PM Eastern
JAKE TAPPER: CNN has learned that Democratic Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe is under investigation by the FBI and the Department of Justice’s Public Integrity Unit over campaign fundraising. CNN justice correspondent Evan Perez joins me now with this breaking news. Evan, what are you learning about this investigation?
EVAN PEREZ: Well Jake, we know that this investigation dates back at least into last year and this is looking into donations to McAuliffe's 2013 campaign for governor. At least part of the focus has been on campaign donations and whether or not they violated the law. Now in particular, one donation that they looked into were contributions from a wealth Chinese businessman Wang Wenliang. As part of this investigation the FBI has gone back to look at McAuliffe’s time as board member for the Clinton Global Initiative, that’s the foundation that was set up by former President Bill Clinton and his family.
There's no allegation of any wrongdoing by the Clintons or the foundation. And we just received a statement in response to this story from Marc Elias, an attorney for McAuliffe's campaign, and he says, “Neither the governor nor his campaign has knowledge of this matter but as reported, contributions from Mr. Wang were completely lawful. The Governor will certainly cooperate with the government if he is contacted about it.”
TAPPER: What do we know about this contribution that got this investigation started?
PEREZ: Well, we're talking about these three donations totaling about $120,000 from Wang Wenliang and he made these donations through a U.S. Business that he owns. It's illegal for foreign nationals to make campaign donations to any U.S. Election, but a spokeswoman says that Wang holds a U.S. Green Card. So, that would make those donations legal under campaign finance law. We also know that Wang is a donor to the Clinton Foundation as well as too many other causes here in the United States and we should also note that the spokeswoman says that Wang has not heard from the FBI and we don't know what else the investigators may still be looking at. Jake, we do know that this is still an active ongoing investigation.