Obama Ordered to Return Illegal Donations

Newsweek report prompts GOP to request federal inquiry
By Jess Kilby,  Newser User
Posted Oct 6, 2008 5:02 AM CDT
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., speaks at a rally at Memorial Stadium at Asheville High School in Asheville, N.C., Sunday, Oct. 5, 2008.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
camera-icon View 1 more image

(Newser) – Barack Obama’s record-breaking $485-million war chest includes a number of small, illegal donations that federal officials have ordered the campaign to return, reports Newsweek. The GOP has requested a federal investigation into Obama’s campaign finances, the Washington Post writes. Roughly half of Obama's funds have been raised through donations of $200 or less, which are exempt from disclosure regulations. The system can be manipulated by determined contributors.

Newsweek highlights two donors who gave a combined total of more than $28,000 in small contributions, exceeding the $2,300-per-person federal limit. Other reports suggest that the campaign may have accepted $34 million from donors who might be foreign citizens. Obama officials say they’ve implemented several safeguards in an attempt to prevent illegal contributions. They also note that John McCain has been ordered to return more than $1.2 million in possibly illegal donations.