Hillary Clinton may soon become an irrelevancy in the campaign, but her associations may continue to create questions about the Democratic Party. Following on the heels of Norman Hsu, Robert Feldman, and Mauricio Celis, McClatchy reports that another Texas fundraiser for Hillary has a history of fraud. Kase Lawal of Houston faces charges of fraud and corruption in Nigeria by the same crusading prosecutor who worked the Nigerian end of the William “Dollar Bill” Jefferson case:
A Texas oilman who’s accused of defrauding the Nigerian government by illegally pumping and exporting 10 million barrels of oil is a major fundraiser for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.
Kase Lawal of Houston is at least the fourth person accused or convicted of criminal wrongdoing to help finance Clinton’s political ambitions since 2000 and the second in her quest for the White House. The list also includes Chinese and Pakistani fugitives and a former Miami lawyer who was convicted of defrauding Cuba. ….
[A] simple Google search by McClatchy produced reports of serious allegations about some of Lawal’s business dealings in Nigeria and South Africa.
Clinton’s campaign lists Lawal among about 250 “Hillraisers” who pledged to collect at least $100,000 in donations. Clinton attended a fundraising luncheon at Lawal’s home in Houston last Aug. 11 that generated more than $100,000, and she spoke to about 250 guests gathered around Lawal’s indoor swimming pool, including two former Houston mayors and Shell Oil President John Hofmeister.
When contacted by McClatchy, the Hillary Clinton campaign insisted that it carefully vets its fundraisers and as far as they know, Lawal is a pillar of his community. The Google search conducted by Greg Gordon and Will Connors belies the notion of any vetting at all. And Lawal is no mere contributor; like Hsu, the Ponzi-scheme fraudster who generated hundreds of thousands of dollars for Democrats, Lawal is a Hillraiser, one of her valued “bundlers”.
It’s the second Texas rainmaker for Hillary to come under a dark cloud. Celis got indicted last November for a variety of charges, including practicing law without a license and impersonating a public servant. The latter charge sprang from a bizarre incident where he attempted to take custody of a woman he tried to grope by telling police he was a deputy sheriff — in a robe. She had fled nude from his house and taken refuge at a convenience store, and Celis had followed her there.
Feldman didn’t work for Hillary but for a number of prominent Democrats, especially Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell and Senator Bob Casey, Jr. He has just been indicted on corruption charges involving Puerto Rico governor Anibal Acevedo Vila and a dozen other people. Feldman allegedly laundered bribes through Philadelphia and New Jersey for Acevedo at the same time he worked as a big-time fundraiser for other Democrats.
In 2006, the Democrats ran against the “culture of corruption”. In 2008, they look more like the party of corruption. Hillary may soon disappear from the presidential election, but her legacy will continue.