Both the Department of Homeland Security and the Office of Government Ethics have refused to fully pursue an ethics investigation against Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s brother, Tony Rodham, and now-Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, despite findings that DHS official Alejandro Mayorkas gave preferential visa treatment to a company with strong links to Rodham that was co-founded by McAuliffe.
This is likely a breach of federal law.
The DHS’s inspector general determined in 2015 that Deputy Secretary Mayorkas, who at the time served as director of Citizenship and Immigration Services, had improperly involved himself in fast-tracking visa applications under the E-5 investor visa program for McAullife’s company GreenTech Automotive, which McAullife was involved in four years before he became the governor of Virginia in 2013.
Federal regulations state that the director of the Office of Governmental Ethics (OGE) “may recommend” that the head of an agency launch an investigation if the OGE director “has reason to believe” a violation has taken place. These regulations also empower the agency to take “appropriate disciplinary or correction action.”
But according to documents obtained by the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI), an investigative watchdog group, the OGE director never took the recommendation step, as he did not believe there was any reason Mayorkas violated ethics rules when he was caught fast-tracking visas for GreenTech Automotive under the EB-5 program, as listed in the DHS IG report.
The EB-5 program allows foreigners to jump to the front of the line to obtain green cards if they sink $500,000 into an American company for the purpose of creating jobs.
More specifically, in the middle of an EB-5 financing round in 2011, Mayorkas apparently asked a DHS administrative judge to meddle with the application rules.
The judge refused, and Mayorkas then reportedly flew into a rage and said, “Give it to me, I’ll write the f***ing thing myself.”
Mayorkas told his employees he wanted to personally involve himself in the EB-5 decision for GreenTech, a statement that alarmed many of his subordinates.
“Mr. Mayorkas told his staff that he wanted to review the decision …,” the DHS inspector report noted, according to ABC News. “Many EB-5 officials found this highly unusual because past USCIS Directors typically had not scrutinized individual decisions; they found this level of scrutiny unsettling.”
“One meeting participant said that ‘everyone froze’ when Mr. Mayorkas said, ‘Let me take it home and rewrite the report,'” the report added. “The participant was ‘stunned’ by Mr. Mayorkas’ suggestion, saying ‘the entire turn of events made me extremely uncomfortable.'”
DHS, meanwhile, elected to give a non-responsive answer to IRLI in the form of random, unrelated documents, which means the DHS, too, may be in violation of federal ethics law. Ethics rules state that if the suspicious matter has already been investigated, which it has been in this case by the DHS’s inspector general, or if the facts are fully known to the agency, it must file an “agency report” with the OGE detailing why “no further investigation” is needed. But no such information was provided to IRLI, despite requests.
In other words, neither agency filed reports on Mayorkas’ major ethics violations.
McAullife, who co-founded GreenTech Automotive, served as chairman from 2010 to 2012. The company has in large part been financed by EB-5 investors, in addition to receiving millions in support from Mississippi and the U.S. government. The EB-5 funding came through Gulf Coast Management LLC, which Rodham operated. When Hillary Clinton served as secretary of state, Rodham traveled through China funneling investment through Gulf Coast via the EB-5 program into GreenTech.
Still, the company has not sold a single electric car and has only manufactured 25 vehicles, even though it projected the production of 30,000 cars every year since 2014 and after. The type of car GreenTech has produced, called MyCar, can’t go any faster than 25 miles an hour because of regulations.
GreenTech is also currently being investigated by the Securities and Exchange for securities fraud, the details of which are unknown.
Neither the DHS, nor OGE responded to a request for comment from The Daily Caller News Foundation.
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