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DiCaprio Testifies at Rapper's Trial That Foreign Financier Wanted to Give $30 Million to Obama Campaign

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During testimony in the federal trial of a former rap music artist, actor Leonardo DiCaprio on Monday said that he spoke with a Malaysian financier who talked of spending up to $30 million to support former President Barack Obama in the 2012 election.

Prakazrel “Pras” Michel, who founded the ’90s group The Fugees,  is on trial for his alleged role in a campaign-finance conspiracy that prosecutors say was headed by Low Taek Jho, also known as “Jho Low,” according to CNN.

DiCaprio testified that he and Low had a 2012 conversation that turned to the presidential election, in which Obama would go on to defeat Republican Mitt Romney

“It was a causal conversation about what party he was in support of, I told him what party I was in support of. And he told me that he, or he and a group, were going to make a significant contribution to the Democratic Party,” he said.

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“It was a significant sum — something to the tune of $20-30 million. I said, ‘Wow that’s a lot of money!’” DiCaprio testified, according to the New York Post.

Low is accused of embezzling $4.5 billion from Malaysia’s state investment fund, which is called 1MDB.

According to the New York Post, Michel was paid $70 million for his assistance to Low, which included lobbying efforts on behalf of the Chinese government.

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Although the Justice Department claims Low and Michel were a team, Low is a fugitive, leaving Michel to face the charges.

A report in EdgeMarkets indicated Low has been living in China, and referred to him as a “protected asset of the Chinese intelligence service.”

According to the Justice Department, Low put $21.6 million in foreign assets at Michel’s disposal to make seemingly legitimate campaign donations. Of that, prosecutors say $865,000 was sent to 20 straw donors who then could make legal donations. Foreign cash is not allowed in U.S. presidential elections.

Prosecutors claim Michel sent more than $1 million from Low to an independent committee that was involved in the election.

Michel and Low were each charged with one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States government and for making foreign and conduit campaign contributions.

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Michel also faced one count of a scheme to conceal material facts and two counts of making a false entry in a record in connection with the conspiracy.

Low and Michel have also been charged by the Justice Department with trying to unlawfully influence the U.S. government in 2017.

In that allegation, Low and Michel were accused of working with a Chinese official to have any prosecution for the 1MDB embezzlement investigation dropped and also to have a Chinese dissident sent to China, according to the DOJ statement.

Both men were charged with conspiring to commit money laundering related to the foreign influence of campaigns. Michel is also charged with witness tampering and conspiracy to make false statements to banks.

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Jack Davis is a freelance writer who joined The Western Journal in July 2015 and chronicled the campaign that saw President Donald Trump elected. Since then, he has written extensively for The Western Journal on the Trump administration as well as foreign policy and military issues.
Jack Davis is a freelance writer who joined The Western Journal in July 2015 and chronicled the campaign that saw President Donald Trump elected. Since then, he has written extensively for The Western Journal on the Trump administration as well as foreign policy and military issues.
Jack can be reached at jackwritings1@gmail.com.
Location
New York City
Languages Spoken
English
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Foreign Policy, Military & Defense Issues




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