Feds Probe Virginia Gov. for a Year Without Him Knowing

Terry McAuliffe investigated over campaign donations
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted May 23, 2016 6:40 PM CDT
Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe enters the Virginia Supreme Court chamber for the swearing-in ceremony of Stephen R. McCullough on Monday, May 23, 2016, in Richmond, Va.   (Bob Brown/Richmond Times-Dispatch via AP)

(Newser) – Not only are the FBI and Justice Dept. investigating Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe—they've been doing so for at least a year without him knowing, CNN reports. The investigation is at least partly trying to determine whether the Democrat received illegal donations during his 2013 gubernatorial campaign, officials say. The donations in question include $120,000 from Chinese businessman Wang Wenliang, a former delegate to China's National People's Congress who gave to McAuliffe's campaign through a US business. A Wang spokeswoman says he's a US permanent resident, which would make his contributions legal.

"Neither the Governor nor his former campaign has knowledge of this matter, but as reported, contributions to the campaign from Mr. Wang were completely lawful," says McAuliffe-campaign attorney Marc Elias. Wang has also donated $2 million to the Clinton Global Initiative, where McAuliffe was a board member (the initiative is part of a charitable foundation established by Bill Clinton). In fact McAuliffe and Hillary Clinton are close friends, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reports—so close that Politico says there's been talk of McAuliffe as her VP pick. The federal investigation into McAuliffe comes just a year after Virginia's previous governor, Bob McDonnell, was imprisoned on corruption charges. (Read more Virginia stories.)

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