‘Mercenary’ donor sold access for millions in foreign money

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Imaad Zuberi, an elite political fundraiser, had the ear of top Democrats and Republicans alike — a reach that included private meetings with then-Vice President Joe Biden and VIP access at Donald Trump’s inauguration. But federal prosecutors say Zuberi’s life was built on a series of lies and the lucrative enterprise of filling the campaign coffers of American politicians and profiting from the resulting influence. They describe him as a “mercenary” political donor who gave to anyone — often using foreign money given through illegal straw donors. An AP investigation based on a trove of documents, emails, and interviews found Zuberi took advantage of loosely regulated campaign finance and foreign lobbying laws to sell influence at the highest levels in Washington.