Jan 7, 2020

Trump donor charged for obstructing investigation into unlawful donations

President Trump at an "Evangelicals for Trump" rally in Miami, Florida. 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.

Go deeper: Trump campaign, RNC say they raised record-breaking $125 million in Q3

Go deeper

D.C. attorney general sues Trump Organization and inaugural committee

Photo: Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post via Getty Images

D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine filed a lawsuit against President Trump's inaugural committee and business Wednesday, claiming that the committee "abandoned" its purpose as a nonprofit by improperly overpaying to book event space at Trump's D.C. hotel.

The big picture: The lawsuit alleges the committee coordinated with the Trump family to "grossly overpay" for event space in the hotel without considering other venues. The committee allegedly ended up paying a total of $1 million for the space, including on days it wasn't used.

Go deeperArrowJan 22, 2020

Sen. Cornyn: There have been a "series of grifters" associated with Trump campaign

Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) on CBS's "Face the Nation" Sunday dismissed new impeachment evidence obtained from Lev Parnas, an indicted associate of Rudy Giuliani, stating that there is "no question that there have been a series of grifters" who have associated themselves with the Trump campaign.

Go deeperArrowJan 19, 2020

Prosecutors recommend Michael Flynn serve up to 6 months in prison

Michael Flynn. Photo: Alex Wroblewski/Getty Images

Federal prosecutors recommended in a sentencing memo Tuesday that President Trump's former national security adviser Michael Flynn receive a sentence of zero to six months in prison, arguing that he should not receive credit for cooperating after his new legal team attempted to dismiss his charges and accused the government of misconduct.

Why it matters: Flynn was the first Trump associate to face charges in the Mueller investigation, pleading guilty to lying to FBI agents in December 2017 about his interactions with the Russian ambassador.

Go deeperArrowJan 7, 2020