Meetings, fundraisers and purchased influence are under investigation by the FBI.
Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe says he does not remember the Chinese businessman whose money he took, but the story being uncovered suggests otherwise, and the Clinton campaign is not commenting.
Wang Wenliang is a Chinese national with U.S. permanent residency. He is a wealthy port owner from northern China with multiple business interests in the U.S., including a construction firm and a soybean export business. Donations from his companies to McAuliffe are currently being reviewed by the FBI and the Justice Department’s public integrity division.
TIME reports that Wang has stated all of his political donations in the U.S. were done at the recommendation of Mark Fung, his legal counsel. In 2012, Fung said on Chinese television from the Democratic National Convention, “If you really want to influence, let’s say, U.S.-China policy, it is almost worth it to have emphasis and influence on the state level.”
In September 2013, an American company controlled by Wang made a $60,000 donation to McAuliffe’s campaign, (which eventually led to a total of $120,000 in donations.)
Three weeks later, McAuliffe invited Wang to a fundraiser at Hillary Clinton’s personal residence in Washington, D.C. Less than a month later, another Wang company pledged $500,000 to the Clinton Foundation – the first of several which now totals $2 million.
According to TIME, there are at least three documented interactions between Wang and McAuliffe, yet McAuliffe told reporters this week that he could not remember ever meeting Wang, then later clarified that “his staff had informed him of several likely meetings” but “I did no deals, I would not know the man if he sat in the chair next to me.”