House Members Took Donations From Accused Foreign Agent
At least seven sitting congressional members are known to have taken campaign donations from a Virginia man accused of being an illegal Pakistani foreign agent.
Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, one of the House members tied to Syed Fai, said Tuesday he will give a $500 contribution his campaign received from Fai to the Saint Augustine's Hunger Center in Cleveland.
Reps. Dan Burton, R-Ind., and Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., also said they had received campaign contributions from Fai.
"For as long as I've known him, Dr. Fai has been either a permanent legal resident of the United States or a citizen and as such any political contributions I may have received from Dr. Fai over the years are completely legal," Burton said in a statement. "My campaign does not accept contributions from anyone not legally authorized to donate to U.S. political campaigns. However, if there is any doubt about the origin of these contributions, I will donate those funds to the Boy Scouts of America."Burton is co-chair of the House Pakistan caucus and received $10,000 in contributions from Fai.
Rohrabacher, who took a much smaller donation from Fai, says he'll wait to see what happens in court before making a decision about the decades-old contribution he received.
"I haven't made a decision on what to do with a $500 contribution from 15 years ago yet because I'm too busy leading the fight to completely eliminate all foreign aid to Pakistan," Rohrabacher said. "I'll revisit the issue if and when the individual is actually convicted."
Federal Election Commission (FEC) filings show four other sitting House members who took contributions from Fai from 1998 through 2007. Rep. Jim Moran, D-Va., got $1,000 in 1998, Rep. Joe Pitts, R-Pa., received $2000 in 2004, Rep. Greg Meeks, D-N.Y., took $250 in 2000 and Rep. Yvette Clark, D-N.Y. got $500 in 2007.
Fai also made donations to the Democratic National Committee, Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, National Republican Senatorial Committee and to the 2000 campaign of former Republican New Hampshire Rep. John Sununu. He also contributed small amounts of money to the presidential campaigns of Al Gore and President Obama. The FEC shows Fai made has made at least $23,500 in donations.