This was exactly as predictable as a new Bill Clinton White House sex scandal. Which, let’s face it, is probably also in America’s short-term future.
He was chairman of Hillary’s campaign in 2008, co-chair of Bill’s reelection campaign in 1996, and head of the DNC during Dubya’s first term before becoming governor in 2014. He’s raised mountains of money for Democrats, especially the Clintons. He held a fundraiser for Hillary literally yesterday. Trump will have some fun with that in his next “Crooked Hillary” broadside — assuming the media doesn’t remind people that he gave $25,000 to McAuliffe’s gubernatorial campaign himself.
Oh: Did I mention that McAuliffe’s role in the Clintons’ charities has come up as part of the investigation?
The investigation dates to at least last year and has focused, at least in part, on whether donations to his gubernatorial campaign violated the law, the officials said…
As part of the probe, the officials said, investigators have scrutinized McAuliffe’s time as a board member of the Clinton Global Initiative, a vehicle of the charitable foundation set up by former President Bill Clinton…
Among the McAuliffe donations that drew the interest of the investigators was $120,000 from a Chinese businessman, Wang Wenliang, through his U.S. businesses. Wang was previously delegate to China’s National People’s Congress, the country’s ceremonial legislature…
Wang also has been a donor to the Clinton foundation, pledging $2 million. He also has been a prolific donor to other causes, including to New York University, Harvard and environmental issues in Florida.
Wang is a U.S. permanent resident, which means he’s legally free to make contributions to political campaigns. Why the feds are interested in his relationship with McAuliffe isn’t clear from the story. Do they suspect political contributions from ineligible foreign citizens are being laundered? Something else? Ben Shapiro notes that McAuliffe’s been accused before of influence-peddling involving Chinese citizens, but then he’s been accused of influence-peddling involving pretty much everyone. He makes no bones about how he operates, either. Ken Cuccinelli half-joked during a debate with McAuliffe three years ago that if T-Mac was elected governor, Virginia’s state motto would need to be changed to “Quid Pro Quo.” Three years later, here we are.
What I want to know is how the Clintons’ charity figures into it. Did McAuliffe help squeeze that $2 million pledge out of Wang? What did Wang expect in return for that — and from whom? Trump’s going to do brisk business with the “foreign influence” angle here, especially since it lets him attack his bete noire, China. As Shapiro says, increasingly it seems like Hillary is tailor-made as a weak opponent for him rather than vice versa. He’s running against a corrupt, cronyist, cosmopolitan establishment, and Democrats are countering with … Hillary Clinton. Tell me again how Trump has no chance of winning.
Exit question from a good half-dozen Twitter pals: Is this why McAuliffe restored voting rights to felons in Virginia? So that he could cast his ballot for Hillary this fall?