Back in 2016, The Intercept ran a blockbuster series revealing how foreign businesspeople were illegally laundering massive campaign contributions to Jeb Bush and other GOP presidential hopefuls.
Yesterday, The Intercept's hard work paid off, with the FEC levying record fines against the people named in The Intercept's investigation: $550K to APIC (US affiliate of SingHaiyi Group, a Chinese-owned, Singapore-based real estate firm) and $390K to Right to Rise USA, overseen by the GOP superlawyer Charlie Spies.
What tripped up APIC and Right to Rise USA was a failure to follow the remaining weak restrictions on foreign participation in U.S. elections. According to the FEC, only American citizens may participate in the decision-making process regarding donations from a foreign-owned corporation such as APIC — leaving out foreign individuals such as Gordon Tang and Huaidan Chen.
However, The Intercept’s investigation revealed that the donations to Right to Rise USA were made under the direction of Gordon Tang. In an interview with The Intercept two years ago, Tang told us that his brother-in-law, Wilson Chen, had asked him to “donate, so I did, I don’t really mind.” Wilson, for his part, told us that the donation had been approved by APIC’s board, which included Tang and Chen.
In the course of its investigation, the FEC confirmed that Tang had engaged in “communications regarding the potential APIC contributions to Right to Rise.” The agency also obtained emails from early 2015 that show that Neil had contacted his fellow board members at APIC about providing financial support for his brother’s presidential campaign.
In one email, Neil wrote that Tang had “expressed interest in donating legally through APIC to my brother Jeb’s political action committee.” Huaidan Chen replied to the email with a message to Wilson Chen, noting, “Wilson, Gordon wants you to follow up this matter. Pls check with [APIC’s in-house counsel] and contact him by phone.”
Intercept Investigation Leads to Record Fines Over Foreign Campaign Contributions [Lee Fang/The Intercept]
It's a preview of just how badly things could go in 2020: the Kentucky gubernatorial race was narrowly decided for the Democratic candidate Andy Beshear, but the monumentally unpopular Trumpist incumbent Matt Bevin will not concede, and instead, he is repeating the Trumpist lie that "voter fraud" caused him to lose his office.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is campaigning with Bernie Sanders in Iowa, generally considered a conservative, red-state kind of place -- so much so that Iowa GOP operators made a series of public predictions that she would be laughed out of the state. The state party chairman Jeff Kaufmann called her "Doctor Ocasio-Cortez" and Sanders "Crazy Bernie": "She’s […]
In 2017, Juli Briskman flipped off Trump's motorcade as she cycled past it near her northern Virginia home, and her employer, Akima LCC, fired her.
Knowledge is power. It’s a cliché, but sometimes things turn into a cliché because they’re true. If you’re making your way through the world of business and entrepreneurship, it only makes sense to read about the insights of people who have climbed that ladder before you. Trouble is, the modern workday doesn’t leave a lot […]
As much as some of us fear the loss of our jobs to robots, there’s one job we’re pretty sure they are welcome to: vacuuming. There’s nothing quite like kicking back and watching a robot vacuum do one of the most time-consuming tasks on the household chore list. And there are few ‘bots that do […]
Got some aches that a lazy rubdown won’t put a dent in? Give your muscles an early Christmas with these massage guns. If you’ve never tried one, they’re all designed to bring deep tissue relief, and they’re all at Black Friday prices now. JAWKU Muscle Blaster V2 Cordless Percussion Massage Gun This cordless massager exerts […]