- Text smaller
- Text bigger
Federal investigators confirmed an investigation has been opened into allegations that Barack Obama’s re-election campaign stuffed its war chest with illegal donations.
Jeff Jordan, a supervisory attorney for the Federal Election Commission, wrote in a letter that the complaint had been received and that the Obama campaign will be notified.
“You will be notified as soon as the Federal Election Commission takes final action on your complaint,” he said.
WND reported that details of alleged illegal activity were provided to the federal overseers.
The complaint sent to the FEC in Washington cited the Obama for America campaign and treasurer Martin H. Nesbitt. It is signed by Joseph Farah, founder and CEO of WND.com, which has been running a series of stories about the controversy.
The complaint alleged the Obama campaign systematically violated the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 as well as the regulations of the FEC, specifically by “soliciting, processing, accepting and confirming contributions from foreign nationals and non-U.S. citizens” in contravention of federal law.
The complaint argues it is unlawful for a foreign national to directly or indirectly make a contribution of money or to promise a contribution of money in connection with a federal, state or local election.
It also is illegal for a person to accept or receive such a contribution.
“Notwithstanding the clear legal prohibitions against soliciting and accepting foreign contributions, the Obama campaign has repeatedly and willfully ignored the law in order to amass a vast campaign war chest, primarily of non-disclosed donors,” the complaint states.
“Reports have increasingly noted evidence of the Obama campaign’s unwillingness and continued failure to install the safeguards used by other campaigns, such as the Romney for President campaign, as well as to utilize industry standard protections against illegal contributions.”
It was documented that “Osama bin Laden” used a Pakistani proxy server to run a grassroots fundraising page titled “Fatwa: Foreign Donations” on Obama’s campaign website, which openly sought foreign donations.
“Bin Laden’s” foreign donors page was not removed by the Obama campaign after a WND report prior to the election exposed how the same “bin Laden” account had successfully donated twice to Obama’s presidential re-election campaign. After the WND report, one of the donations was officially returned while another was listed as pending.
The “bin Laden” foreign donors page was still active even after “bin Laden” sent an email to the Obama campaign alerting them to the page.
The email concerned a campaign competition for supporters who had donated $3 to meet President Obama on Election Day. “Bin Laden” had donated the $3 for the competition and had asked the campaign in the email whether he could bring wanted al-Qaida leader Ayman Al-Zawahiri as a guest. The email also provided a link to “bin Laden’s” grassroots page seeking foreign donations.
“Bin Laden’s” page was set up by WND staff as a test after media reports described the ability of foreigners to donate to the Obama campaign.
The test was also in response to a nonprofit group’s report alleging Obama’s campaign had solicited foreigners for political donations through its social media websites.
The FEC complaint notes that stories about Obama’s acceptance of donations from foreigners arose during the 2008 election, when Newsweek, the Washington Post and ABC News all cited such claims.
In the past few months, the complaint said, “there have been increasing published reports of individuals making contributions to the Obama campaign using foreign names and/or addresses, foreign IP addresses and many other serious breaches of security that would have prevented such contributions. ”
The reports have been cited in RedState.com, the Washington Examiner and other publications.
Farah explained “to ascertain whether the other published reports were true or exaggerated,” his news staff “planned and executed transactions using clearly bogus names, addresses, and, in particular, a foreign (Pakistani) Internet protocol address.”
For example, a $15 donoation came from Osama bin Laden of 911 Jihad Way, Abbottabad, Calif. His occupation was listed as deceased terror chief and his employer was al-Qaida.
“The contribution from this source, with this information, to the Obama campaign was accepted and the disposable credit card was charged the amount of $15.00,” the complaint explains. “We then conducted the same transaction with the Romney for President campaign. The attempted contribution was rejected immediately.”
Other donations that should have been rejected were made to Obama, to make certain the first donation was not an anomalous result.
“Clearly, the Obama campaign is more concerned with fundraising than in abiding by federal law,” the complaint said. “The Obama campaign has made it clear that despite the multiple stories confirming illegal foreign contributions to the campaign, it has no intention of establishing the safeguards necessary to halt the flow of illegal funds into his campaign coffers.”
Said the complaint, “It is well past time for the Federal Election Commission to conduct an audit of the Obama campaign to ascertain, once and for all, the extent of the foreign and illegal funding of the Obama presidential campaign.”
In an attached affidavit, Farah explained that the Obama donation system was set “to accept all credit card contributions, regardless of source or other information.”
“From WND.com’s own investigative and reporting experience in 2008, we established that Palestinians in Gaza successfully donated to the 2008 Obama campaign. Only after our story was published and the illegal contributions reported did the Obama campaign claim to refund the money. WND.com has … been unable to verify that claim by the Obama campaign from 2008,” he explained. “With no safeguards against illegal foreign campaign contributions, and absent a forensic audit of the Obama campaign’s fundraising by a government agency or an independent auditor, there is no way to know the extent of the funds raised illegally by the Obama campaign, including from non-US citizens. ”
He noted the Obama campaign refuses to release the names of donors who give less than $200, the threshold for required disclosure.