APRIL 04, 2008
A Texas oilman accused of defrauding a foreign government is the latest—and at least the fourth—major Hillary Clinton fundraiser charged or convicted with a serious crime.
The Nigerian-American millionaire (Kase Lawal) is among 250-plus “Hillraisers,” who pledged to collect at least $100,000 for Clinton’s presidential campaign. In August the New York senator attended a fundraising luncheon at Lawal’s upscale Houston residence that generated more than $100,000 from about 250 prominent guests.
Now Nigerian authorities have charged Clinton’s prized fundraiser for defrauding its government by illegally pumping and exporting 10 million barrels of oil. While a Clinton campaign spokesman insists that Lawal is an “upstanding member of his community” the newspaper chain that exposed his shady business dealings writes that a simple internet search produced numerous reports of serious allegations in Nigeria and South Africa.
An assistant police commissioner with a reputation for busting public corruption rings headed Lawal’s Nigerian investigation. The same official (Nuhu Ribadu) helped prosecute a former Nigerian vice president who accepted bribes from Congressman William Jefferson, the Louisiana Democrat federally indicted for operating a massive bribery scheme to broker African telecommunications deals.
This proves, once again, that Clinton failed to scrutinize the background of yet another major campaign donor with serious legal problems. The list includes a now-jailed Chinese fugitive (Norman Hsu) who donated nearly $1 million, a Pakistani fugitive (Abdul Rehman Jinnah) who once appeared on the FBI’s Most Wanted list and recently pleaded guilty to funneling tens of thousands of dollars in illegal campaign contributions to Clinton and a California senator and a Corpus Christi businessman (Mauricio Celis) accused of laundering money for Mexican drug cartels.
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