A commissioner on the bipartisan U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom has been indicted along with seven others in an alleged conspiracy to conceal millions of dollars in excessive campaign donations to benefit Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign.
The Department of Justice announced earlier this month that a federal grand jury indicted Lebanese-American businessman Ahmad “Andy” Khawaja, the 48-year-old CEO of the online payment processing company Allied Wallet.
Khawaja, who has served as a member of the congressionally mandated religious freedom watchdog panel since 2018, faces 35 counts related to allegations of illegal conduit political contributions made between 2016 and 2018 and obstruction of a grand jury investigation.
Khawaja is accused of conspiring with George Nader, a businessman and lobbyist who has served for years as a liaison between politicians in Washington and the United Arab Emirates, to conceal the source of $3.5 million in contributions directed to political committees associated with a 2016 presidential candidate.
Even though the indictment does not mention the 2016 Democrat nominee by name, campaign finance records indicate that her campaign was the recipient of the contributions in question, according to Fox News.
According to the indictment, the contributions appeared to be in the names of Khawaja, his wife, and the Allied Wallet. However, the indictment alleges that the contributions were funded by Nader.
Khawaja’s alleged conspiracy with Nader said to have lasted between March 2016 through January 2017.
Khawaja and Nader are accused of making the contributions in an “effort to gain influence with high-level political figures, including the candidate.” According to details released by the DOJ, the contributions were made while Nader “reported to an official from a foreign government about his efforts to gain influence.”
Khawaja, who was appointed to USCIRF by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, faces two counts of conspiracy, three counts of making conduit contributions, three counts of causing excessive contributions, 13 counts of making false statements, 13 counts of causing false records to be filed and one count of obstruction of a federal grand jury investigation.
Meanwhile, Nader is charged with conspiring with Khawaja to make conduit campaign contributions and related offenses. Nader, who was also a witness in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation, is already in federal custody on child pornography trafficking charges.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Samuel Smith