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Today's top new stories about money in politics and democracy.
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NEWS & ANALYSIS
Wednesday

March 18, 2020

Top Money in Politics News

Former Rep. Duncan Hunter gets 11 months in prison for campaign finance violations (Los Angeles Times) “Former U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter was sentenced to 11 months in federal prison Monday for conspiring to illegally use more than $150,000 of his campaign money for personal benefit.

U.S. District Court Judge Thomas J. Whelan handed down the sentence at a hearing for the former Republican lawmaker from Alpine. Hunter pleaded guilty in December to a felony conspiracy charge, one of 60 counts in an August 2018 indictment that also named his wife and former campaign manager, Margaret.”

Florida’s AG Contracted With Trump Doral In Violation Of U.S. Constitution (HuffPost) “Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody, the state’s top legal officer, contracted with President Donald Trump’s Miami golf resort to host a crime prevention conference, despite the U.S. Constitution’s prohibition against his accepting money from a state.

The conference, set for late May, has been indefinitely postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic before any payments “were made or due,” said Lauren Cassedy, a spokesperson in Moody’s office.

Cassedy, though, would not explain why Moody, a Republican who was elected to the statewide job in 2018 after receiving Trump’s endorsement, chose to award the contract to Trump’s resort in the first place. Under its terms, some $70,000 of Florida taxpayer money likely would have gone to Trump National Doral. Nonprofit groups, local governments and others attending the event that had been set for late May likely would have spent an additional $600,000.”

DOJ memo shows Clinton, Obama, and Trump donor’s shady foreign campaign finance schemes (Washington Examiner) “Federal prosecutors detailed the alleged foreign lobbying schemes carried out by Imaad Zuberi in a lengthy memo on Tuesday, alleging the Southern California campaign fundraiser who donated to Democrats and Republicans concealed work for shadowy interests around the world.

Zuberi, 42, pleaded guilty in October to charges of tax evasion, making nearly $1 million in illegal campaign contributions using straw donations and foreign funds and falsifying records of his extensive work as a foreign agent on behalf of Sri Lanka as well as lobbying for individuals and governments from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Turkey, Bahrain, and Libya. The Justice Department said Zuberi repeatedly violated the Foreign Agents Registration Act in receiving millions of dollars from foreign actors and lobbying Congress on their behalf.”

SOCIAL HIGHLIGHTS

ON HUNTER
No one is above the law. https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2020-03-17/duncan-hunter-sentenced
 
ON TRUMP 
RT Noah Bookbinder Florida's Attorney General contracted with President Trump's Doral resort for a conference. It's been postponed because of coronavirus, but the state would have paid the Trump resort around $70K-which appears to be a clear violation of the constitution. https://t.co/u0YUpivl3L

ON ZUBERI
““Zuberi’s repeated conduct constitutes an egregious series of FARA violations. The offenses involved prohibited activities on behalf of numerous foreign governments, entities, and individuals that transpired over the course of several years.” https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/doj-memo-shows-clinton-obama-and-trump-donors-shady-foreign-campaign-finance-schemes


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