ABC News: GreenTech scrutiny is karma for McAuliffe, Democrats
posted at 10:41 am on August 9, 2013 by Ed Morrissey
No, not the Fisker Karma, but the what-goes-around-comes-around variety, report Shushannah Walshe and Chris Good for ABC News. As chair of the DNC and one of its more effective attack dogs, Terry McAuliffe went after George W. Bush in 2002 over an SEC investigation into Harken Energy’s activities in the early 1990s, in part for not disclosing the details of the SEC’s interest. Democrats tore into Mitt Romney for his deals with China and his offshore accounts in the 2012 election. All of those chickens are now coming home to roost in Virginia, and McAuliffe is so far even less forthcoming than former Democratic targets:
Remember the Democrats’ withering attacks on Mitt Romney for his business dealings in China and holdings in the Caribbean? The tables have turned. Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe faces attacks from Republicans over his former leadership of an electric car company called GreenTech Automotive, which originally sought to establish its manufacturing base in Virginia but later landed in Tunica, Miss.
The Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating GreenTech, and Republicans have pounced on McAuliffe for seeking out Chinese investors, lobbing charges of potential national security risks at the Democrat. …
In a letter to McAuliffe and Wang, America Rising pointed out that McAuliffe himself asked for a similar disclosure from then-president George W. Bush in 2002, when Harken Energy, of which Bush was a director in 1990, faced investigation from the SEC. (Ultimately, Bush was cleared of any wrongdoing.)
“Today, President Bush offered his third and latest explanation over his role in Harken Energy’s questionable business practices. Every day, more questions arise,” McAuliffe said in 2002. “President Bush should stop refusing to release his SEC files and let the American people, and not his lawyers, decide what is relevant.”
We’ve noted the SEC and DHS probes into GreenTech and Gulf Coast Funds, the latter run by Hillary Clinton’s brother Tony Rodham, and the apparent attempt to get around EB-5 visa denials by appealing directly to DHS executive Alejandro Mayorkas, who was tapped by Barack Obama to become the #2 official at DHS before this scandal broke open. ABC follows up on at least one of the visas in question, and suggests that Chinese intelligence may have some connection to the effort to fund GreenTech through Gulf Coast Funds:
One of GreenTech’s investors works for a Chinese telecommunications company, Huawei Technologies, investigated by the House intelligence committee over alleged ties to Chinese intelligence services, according to documents obtained by Sen. Chuck Grassley from the Dept. of Homeland Security.
Gulf Coast Management sought a visa for Zhenjun Zhang, a GreenTech investor who was a vice president of Huawei. Huawei has previously said those charges were not true. (The company did not return a phone call or email from ABC News seeking comment.) Last month, Grassley noted that there was a GreenTech investor from Huawei, but Simone Williams, legal counsel for Gulf Coast Technologies, tells ABC News that there is only one investor who is employed by Huawei (Zhang), and his visa has not been approved.
In emails obtained by the office of Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services officials flagged Zhang’s so-called EB-5 visa filing and the House Intelligence Committee’s probe of that company as an area of concern. Grassley voiced concerns about Zhang’s investment.
GreenTech says it had no knowledge of any connection between Huawei and the Chinese government. That’s rather interesting, since the Obama campaign ran ads against Romney for Bain Capital’s connection to Huawei, which took place after he left Bain:
In the ad, using quotes from The Washington Times and CBS News’ “60 Minutes,” a voice-over calls Huawei Technologies “up to its eyeballs with the Chinese military” and that the company “raised concerns about national security, Chinese espionage.”
“But it didn’t stop Bain Capital from trying to partner Huawei with a U.S. defense contractor,” the announcer says. “And Mitt Romney had a piece of the deal. Intelligence leaders called it ‘a threat to national security,’ even urged Romney to oppose the deal, but he said no. Putting profits from China ahead of security for America.”
The spokesperson for GreenTech claimed ignorance over Huawei and Zhang. The responsibility for vetting the EB-5 investors, Simone Williams insists, is Customs and Immigration Services and Gulf Coast Funds. Not coincidentally, Mayorkas runs the USCIS, and he allegedly overruled two denials on behalf of Gulf Coast, which is why the IG is now conducting its investigation.
Karma has a way of getting around, doesn’t it? Not the Fisker one, either.