Eight individuals involved in a scheme to funnel millions of dollars in illegal campaign contributions to numerous Democrat politicians and to organizations affiliated with the Democratic Party were recently indicted by a grand jury. The indictment was unsealed Dec. 3, but the story has largely gone unnoticed because most media organizations all but completely ignored it. That fact is not surprising, given that one of the indicted was a witness for the special counsel investigation into the now-debunked Trump-Russia conspiracy theory and also because the list of beneficiaries of this scheme reads like a who’s who of Democratic Party politics.
The 55-count indictment centers around 48-year-old Ahmad “Andy” Khawaja of Los Angeles, California, who used his online processing company, Allied Wallet, as a conduit for excessive contributions to candidates and political organizations.
Khawaja made personal donations but also channeled money from other individuals who sought to conceal the origins of the donations. The largest contributor was George Nader, who is in federal custody on charges relating to the sexual exploitation of minors. Nader was one of former special counsel Robert Mueller’s witnesses – a fact that further erodes the highly questionable credibility of the investigation into alleged 2016 election tampering. Mueller’s probe led to the indictment of several Russian nationals, a Russian company, and three individuals connected to the Trump campaign, though none of the three were charged with any crimes relating to supposed collusion with the Russians.
Contribution Recipients All Democrats
The Center for Responsive Politics published on its OpenSecrets website a full list of recipients of contributions associated with Khawaja between 2016 and 2019. Those recipients include the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, DNC Services Corp., Numerous political action committees (PACs) supporting the Democratic Party, and certain Democrat candidates – including Hillary Clinton – as well as around half of all state-level Democratic parties.
Numerous elected Democrats also appear on the list. Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) received multiple contributions, as did Clinton. The largest single amount listed is $1 million, given in September 2016 to the progressive PAC Priorities USA Action, which supported Clinton.
Among the other Democrats listed are Sens. Cory Booker (D-NJ), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), and Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA). No Republican Party organizations, PACs, candidates, or elected officials appear on the list. A certain Washington national newspaper reported that Nader was a “Trump donor,” claiming that he had given $1 million to the president’s inaugural fund. This was typically duplicitous of a paper that exists only to carry water for the Democratic Party.
It should be noted, of course, that an indictment – like an impeachment – does not mean that anyone has been found guilty of a crime. Further, it is only fair to point out that none of the individuals or organizations who received contributions from those indicted are, themselves, guilty of any crime. Democrats often lament surreptitious election influence, though, and the role played in politics by “dark money.”
This indictment indicates that, in the run-up to both the 2016 and 2018 elections, Democrats benefited from illegal campaign contributions. Assuming that none of the recipients were aware of the illegal activities of their donors, they perhaps should practice what they preach and be more selective when accepting contributions.
Read more from Graham J. Noble.