Jan 7, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Trump donor charged for obstructing investigation into unlawful donations

In this image, Trump waves while standing in front of several American flags.

President Trump at an Evangelicals for Trump rally in Miami, Florida, Jan. 3. Photo: Adam DelGiudice/Echoes Wire/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

Trump fundraiser Imaad Zuberi was charged Tuesday with obstructing a federal investigation into whether foreign nationals unlawfully donated to the president's inaugural ceremony, AP reports.

Catch up quick: Prosecutors say Zuberi deleted emails and backdated a $50,000 check to obstruct the investigation. The California investor contributed $900,000 to the president's inaugural committee in the months after his 2016 election and has also made large donations to Democrats, AP notes, including former President Obama's inaugural committee.

  • The criminal complaint stated that the donation “was in fact funded using money obtained from other sources,” including a possible inaugural donor the AP identified as a Turkish-American businessman linked to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's regime.
  • "The new charge was filed in the Southern District of New York as a criminal information — which probably indicates that Zuberi intends to plead guilty to it," the Washington Post reports.

Flashback: Zuberi pleaded guilty in a separate case in October for "falsifying records to conceal his work as a foreign agent while lobbying high-level U.S. government officials," per a Justice Department memo from that time.

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