FBI investigating Gov. McAuliffe over campaign donations

FBI investigating Gov. McAuliffe over campaign donations

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - The FBI and federal prosecutors are investigating Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe over donations to his gubernatorial campaign, NBC12 has confirmed.

CNN cited U.S. officials briefed on the probe, saying the investigation has been underway for at least a year. However, the network reports the governor has not yet been contacted by investigators.

A $120,000 donation from a Chinese businessman, Wang Wenliang, is part of the investigation reports CNN. Wang is an entrepreneur worth billions of dollars who donated millions to the Clinton Global Initiative. Wang's company ships soybeans through Virginia ports, reports the Washington Post.

"We cannot confirm the CNN report. Neither the Governor nor his former campaign has knowledge of this matter, but as reported, contributions to the campaign were completely lawful," Marc Elias, an attorney for McAuliffe's gubernatorial campaign told NBC12. "The Governor will certainly cooperate with the government if he is contacted about it."

Officials say the probe includes McAuliffe's time as a board member of the Clinton Global Initiative, though the investigation doesn't allege any improper action by the foundation.

Foreign nationals are not allowed to donate to federal, state or local elections, but a spokeswoman told CNN Wang holds U.S. permanent resident status and is eligible to donate to McAuliffe's campaign. The spokeswoman said investigators haven't contacted Wang or his company used to make the donations.

The Governor's Office says it knew nothing about FBI investigation and that this is strictly on the campaign side. A request to interview Gov. McAuliffe was declined as his office says he is not in the Richmond-area.

McAuliffe drew scrutiny during his campaign for dealings with a Chinese company used to secure funding for his Greentech Automotive start-up venture. The controversial conservative group "Citizens United" launch a half-hour documentary attacking McAuliffe for his work on the electric car company in Mississippi, and Franklin Pellets, a company in Southeast Virginia that McAuliffe was working to get going after buying a former paper mill.

McAuliffe resigned his position with Greentech in late 2012.

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