Foreign Interference In An Election

If you follow the mainstream media, you might conclude that foreign interference in an election only matters when Republicans do it.

Meanwhile, BizPacReview reported yesterday that Pras Michel, a rapper for the group ‘The Fugees,’ has been indicted by the U.S. government for funneling millions of dollars of foreign money to Barack Obama’s 2012 presidential campaign.

The article explains the charges:

In a DOJ statement, the feds announced Michel and a Malaysian financier were charged with four counts “for conspiring to make and conceal foreign and conduit campaign contributions.”

Michel, 46, and Low Taek Jho, 37, aka”Jho Low,” were charged with conspiracy to defraud the U.S. government and for making foreign and conduit campaign contributions. Michel also was charged with one count of a scheme to conceal material facts and two counts of making a false entry in a record in connection with the conspiracy.

The article includes a statement from the Department of Justice:

According to the indictment, between June 2012 and November 2012, Low directed the transfer of approximately $21,600,000 from foreign entities and accounts to Michel for the purpose of funneling significant sums of money into the United States presidential election as purportedly legitimate contributions, all while concealing the true source of the money.  To facilitate the excessive contributions and conceal their true source, Michel paid approximately $865,000 of the money received from Low to about 20 straw donors, or conduits, so that the straw donors could make donations in their names to a presidential joint fundraising committee.  In addition, Michel personally directed more than $1 million of the money received from Low to an independent expenditure committee also involved in the presidential election in 2012.

The indictment also alleges that by funneling campaign contributions through straw donors, Michel caused a presidential joint fundraising committee to submit false reports to the Federal Election Commission (FEC), including a false amended report in June 2013.  The committee’s reports were false because they identified the straw donors, rather than Low or Michel, as the true source of the contributions.  In addition, the indictment alleges that by contributing more than $1 million of the money he received from Low to an independent expenditure committee, Michel also caused that committee to submit false reports to the FEC, insofar as those reports identified Michel as the source of the contributions when, in fact, it was Low.  The indictment further alleges that in June 2015, Michel submitted a false declaration to the FEC in which he claimed that he had no reason to conceal the true source of his contributions to the independent expenditure committee in 2012, even though Michel knew that the true source of that money was Low and that Michel had funneled the foreign money into the election.

It is good news that the Department of Justice is holding Mr. Michel accountable.