There is a huge political scandal out there.
And you have probably never heard about it.
On Friday, May 10, prosecutors from the United States Department of Justice announced indictments against a Malaysian citizen, Jho Low and Pras Michel, an American musician, filmmaker and former member of the hiphop group Fugees.
The indictment charges that Low, who is not an American citizen, gave Michel $865,000, that he passed along to straw donors to give campaign contributions to the 2012 presidential campaign of “Candidate A.” In addition, prosecutors charge Low with giving Michel more than $1 million to donate to an independent election committee. Contributions from foreign citizens to American campaigns is illegal.
Who could “Candidate A” possibly be?
This story starts in 2008, when a sovereign wealth fund was created in Malaysia. It was called Terengganu Investment Authority. In 2009, after the election of Najib Razak to be Prime Minister, the fund was taken over by the Malaysian national government and renamed the 1Malaysia Development Bhd.
During the following years, Low and others raided the 1MDB fund. The losses are unknown but run into the billions. Jho Low became a famous jet setting partier. His parties became legendary in Hollywood circles. Low allegedly funneled some of the funds he stole into a company called Red Granite pictures. That was the Hollywood production company that produced the 2013 award winning movie, “The Wolf of Wall Street. In March 2018, Red Granite pictures agreed to pay the United States government $60 million to settle litigation that alleged the funding for the company’s movies came from money stolen from 1MDB.
But back to “Candidate A.”
The media is reporting that “Candidate A” was Barack Obama.
No one is accusing Obama of knowing about the contributions. In fact, it is a pretty safe bet that he did not.
According to at least one book that has been written about the 1MDB scandal, Jho Low wanted to be a hugely influential player on the international scene and he wanted to create better ties between Malaysia and the United States.
Better ties, that he could presumably profit from.
Low allegedly used his ties with figures in the Middle East to drain well in excess of $1 billion from 1MDB. Low allegedly used his ties to then Prime Minister Najib Razak to cover his tracks and according to public reports, he funneled money back to Razak and his wife.
Low’s American political efforts paid off, as Obama visited Malaysia in 2014 and 2015.
The American left screams about so-called “dark money” in politics. Amazingly enough, the usual suspects who scream about this issue, have been silent on this case. The American media has been remarkably uninterested in this case. It is a safe bet that had the recipient of that kind of foreign donation been Mitt Romney or Donald Trump, this case would be headline news.
Pras Michel has entered a not guilty plea and in a public statement said he would not accept a plea bargain. He intends to go to trial.
Jho Low is one of the most wanted men in the world. The United States has indictments pending against him. It is believed other countries also are seeking his arrest. It is believed Low is in either Thailand or China.
Meanwhile, the American media remains exceptionally uninterested in foreign donations that went to the Obama reelection campaign.