A Clinton Foundation donor’s financial activity was suspicious enough for FBI and Justice Department officials to meet earlier this year to consider opening an investigation into the Clinton family charity.
And while the donor has not been identified, details from a CNN report about the meeting raise the strong possibility that the individual is a Chinese billionaire who gave the Clinton Foundation $2 million in 2013 and also contributed $120,000 to Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s gubernatorial campaign that same year.
That donor is Wang Wenliang, a former delegate to the Chinese parliament. He controls several Chinese firms, including Rilin Enterprises and Dandong Port Co.
According to CNN’s report, the FBI considered investigating the Clinton Foundation after a bank flagged one of the charity’s donor for “suspicious activity.”
Three Justice Department field offices also wanted to proceed with an investigation. But when FBI and DOJ officials met earlier this year, the idea was vetoed. It is unclear who made the final determination to forego an investigation. But CNN reported that some DOJ officials were against opening the investigation while others supported doing so.
The apparent disagreement among the federal officials is already raising questions about whether Clinton was protected for political reasons, especially since Attorney General Loretta Lynch held a secret airplane meeting with Bill Clinton in late June, just days before the FBI and DOJ were set to interview Hillary Clinton about her emails.
Another detail in CNN’s report suggests that Wenliang is the donor flagged by the bank. The network reported that during that DOJ-FBI meeting, officials agreed that an investigation into McAuliffe should proceed.
CNN reported back in May that the Justice Department was investigating McAuliffe, who served as an advisor to the Clinton Global Initiative, because of campaign contributions he received from a company controlled by Wenliang.
The Daily Caller was unable to confirm whether Wenliang is the mysterious donor flagged by the bank. An FBI spokesperson offered a boilerplate response when asked whether he was. The spokesperson said the bureau does not confirm or deny the existence of investigations.
In addition to his generous contribution to the Clinton Foundation, Wenliang also spent heavily to influence Congress and federal agencies, including Clinton’s State Department.
It has previously been reported that Wenliang’s companies spent $1.4 million lobbying the federal government since 2012.
But TheDC can offer new details on those lobbying efforts. Federal lobbying records show that Wenliang’s companies spent $120,000 lobbying the State Department in early 2013, while Clinton was still in office.
On what issue did Wenliang’s company lobby Clinton’s agency? “Selected visas for U.S. visitors,” according to the lobbying disclosure.
The status of the DOJ investigation into McAuliffe is unclear. After the initial reports about the probe, McAuliffe, a longtime friend of the Clintons and former chair of the DNC, claimed he had never met Wenliang. But he was forced to retract that claim after video surfaced showing him walking into a fundraiser which Wenliang also attended. (RELATED: Hillary Clinton Met Terry McAuliffe’s Mysterious Chinese Donor At A Fundraiser At Her Home)
The location? Clinton’s Washington D.C. mansion. The Clintons hosted a fundraiser for McAuliffe on Sept. 30, 2013.