Holy 90s! Fugees Rapper Charged in Foreign Donations (to Obama) Scandal

Allegations of foreign meddling in our elections and obstruction of justice are not always recognized as Huge News -- especially when it's about Asian donors meddling on behalf of Barack Obama in 2012. Associated Press reports:

One of the founding members of the 1990s hip-hop group the Fugees has been charged in a campaign finance conspiracy that took place during the 2012 presidential election, the Justice Department said Friday.

A four-count indictment accuses Prakazrel “Pras” Michel of conspiring with fugitive Malaysian financer Low Taek Jho, usually known as Jho Low, to make and conceal foreign campaign contributions. He is alleged to have used straw donors to give campaign contributions to a U.S. presidential candidate, who is identified in the indictment only as Candidate A....

Prosecutors allege that from June to November 2012, Low directed more than $21.6 million to be moved from foreign entities to Michel’s accounts in order to funnel money into the 2012 presidential election. They say Michel then paid about 20 straw donors and conduits so they could make the donations in their names and conceal where the money actually came from, according to the indictment.

More than $1 million was also sent to an independent expenditure committee, prosecutors said.

Michel and Low both deny any improper contributions, but even leftist campaign-finance groups support the prosecution. Fred Wertheimer of Democracy 21 told AP his organization and another one filed a complaint against Michel to both the Federal Election Commission and the Justice Department.

Haitian-American and Brooklyn-born Michel and his fellow Fugees -- Wyclef Jean and Lauryn Hill -- had several hits in the Nineties, most memorably a remake of Roberta Flack's "Killing Me Softly With His Song." 

As for potential obstruction of justice, the New York Post reports: 

The “Ghetto Superstar” singer is already accused of conspiring with ex-DOJ official George Higginbotham to thwart the sprawling US probe into Low.

According to a civil suit filed in November, Michel and Higgenbotham helped Low funnel some $73 million in looted Malaysian funds into four US bank accounts in hopes of influencing the feds’ investigation.

The media are hyperbolic about Russian intervention because they believe it somehow tipped the race to Trump. Obama in 2012 won easily. In 1996, Bill Clinton was easily re-elected, but faced investigations of a long list of illegal Chinese and Indonesian donations. Back then, the news networks were profoundly bored by foreign meddling, and suggested it was waste of Congress's time and taxpayer dollars. 

Associated Press New York Post
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