Major Trump Donor Charged With Obstructing Probe Into Trump’s Inauguration
Federal prosecutors investigating possible illegal donations to President Donald Trump’s inauguration funds charged a major donor on Tuesday with obstructing the investigation, according to The Associated Press.
Imaad Zuberi — who “recently pleaded guilty in a separate case in Los Angeles to campaign finance violations, tax evasion and failing to register as a foreign agent” — is accused of taking “numerous steps” to interfere in the probe.
Prosecutors say that Zuberi backdated a $50,000 check and deleted emails, among other measures to obfuscate his activities surrounding contributions to Trump’s inaugural committee.
Zuberi is “a prolific fundraiser who has also donated large sums to Democrats,” the AP noted, but after the 2016 election he gave a total of $900,000 toward Trump’s inaugural funds.
The problem, prosecutors say, is that Zuberi’s donation “was in fact funded using money obtained from other sources,” including a would-be inaugural donor the AP reported to be Turkish-American businessman Murat Guzel, who has ties to Turksish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
The news outlet noted that the inaugural committee itself is not accused of wrongdoing, but Zuberi “did not inform the committee that his donation included contributions from others” — and under federal law, “foreign companies and individuals cannot make contributions to U.S. political campaigns.”
Zuberi has found himself the subject of investigation in New York and California for his millions in political donations, the AP reported, which includes hefty contributions to both Trump and former President Barack Obama’s inaugural committees.
He also allegedly offered to pay more than $6 million to six witnesses in his case if they would stay silent on the matter.