Members of Wealthy Saudi Family Emerge as Clinton Foundation, Dem Donors
A wealthy family closely aligned with Saudi Arabia’s ruling family has emerged as a key donor to both the Clinton Foundation and prominent Democrats, despite the clan’s involvement in a domestic violence case that it has sought to sweep under the rug, according to police reports and funding documents viewed by the Washington Free Beacon.
Nasser al-Rashid, one of Saudi Arabia’s wealthiest figures and an adviser to the country’s royal family, has donated somewhere between $1 million to $5 million to the Clinton Foundation, putting him in an elite category of prominent donors.
Al-Rashid’s children—including one who pled guilty to assaulting his estranged wife—have poured almost $600,000 into Democratic coffers during the past several years, raising questions about influence peddling by prominent foreign families.
The controversy has already rippled through Florida’s contentious race for a Democratic Senate seat and threatens to further entangle presidential contender Hillary Clinton, who has already faced questions about her close ties to foreign governments.
“This raises a very simple question in my mind—why is this family of one of Saudi Arabia’s richest billionaires and a key adviser to the royal family pouring hundreds of thousands of dollars into our political system to elect and influence these Democrats?” asked Ian Prior, a longtime Republican political operative and current spokesman for the Senate Leadership Fund, which advocates the election of Republican candidates.
Nasser Ibrahim al-Rashid, the family’s patriarch, is the founder and chairman of the Riyadh-based Rashid Engineering, making him one of the country’s top five wealthiest men.
His high-dollar donations to the Clinton Foundation put him in league with other prominent donors such as financial giant Barclays Capital and beer magnate Anheuser-Busch.
Donations by foreign governments, including Saudi Arabia, to the Clinton Foundation have sparked multiple reports questioning Hillary Clinton’s close relationship with these nations.
“There are a wide range of donors to this foundation from a number of Gulf countries, where women are treated like second class citizens,” a former Bush administration official said. “Individuals from these countries, which are often weak on terrorism finance enforcement, also have outsized influence over this powerful foundation, with real international implications.”
Al-Rashid’s three sons have followed in their father’s political footsteps, contributing large sums to top Democrats, including Rep. Patrick Murphy (D., Fla.), whose Senate race could help decide which party controls the Senate in 2017.
Murphy has already returned a portion of al-Rashid’s donations due to his involvement in a domestic assault incident.
Ibrahim al-Rashid allegedly forced his way into his estranged wife’s Pennsylvania home, where al-Rashid allegedly “grabbed her by the wrist, struck her about the head and face with a closed fist then threw her to the ground,” according to a copy of the police report viewed by the Free Beacon.
Following the 2014 incident, al-Rashid allegedly sent his wife a text message stating, “I am not sorry this time I hope you die in hell,” according to the police report.
Murphy, a longtime friend of al-Rashid, was recently forced to donate around $16,000 in campaign funds to domestic violence groups after the assault charge became a public liability for the campaign. Murphy also returned all of the donations made by al-Rashid during the last three political cycles.
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