McCain campaign reviewing allegations of Jordanian national's donations

Palestinian Faisal Abdullah claims to be driver behind funds donated to presidential candidate.

mccain 88 (photo credit:)
mccain 88
(photo credit: )
John McCain's campaign began on Thursday to review donations brought in by a prominent Florida businessman following disclosures that his business partner, a Jordanian national, also may have engaged in fund raising. The campaign is looking into hundreds of thousands of dollars in contributions to make sure that they are appropriate, a spokesman said. It is illegal for foreigners to contribute their own money to US campaigns. The campaign sent a letter spelling out legal requirements to all donors who sent their contributions through Harry Sargeant III, the finance chairman of the Florida Republican Party. The New York Times reported Thursday that Sargeant allowed a longtime business partner, Mustafa Abu Naba'a, to bring in some $50,000 in donations since March from members of a single extended family, the Abdullahs, in California, along with several of their friends. The newspaper also interviewed Faisal Abdullah, a Palestinian immigrant who identified himself to the Times as the driver behind the McCain donations from his relatives and friends. He sent them to Abu Naba'a, whom Abdullah described as an acquaintance, the paper said. A House committee chairman is looking into Sargeant's defense contracts for shipping fuel to US bases in Iraq as part of a probe into whether contractors are engaging in overcharging. McCain spokesman Brian Rogers said Mustafa Abu Naba'a is not a bundler for the campaign, although Sargeant is. "He wasn't registered, and he hasn't contributed," Rogers said of Mustafa Abu Naba'a. The campaign letter to donors notes that federal law bars contributions from foreign nationals and that donations cannot be reimbursed. Eight months ago, a top fund raiser for Hillary Clinton, Norman Hsu, was indicted for making contributions to various political candidates in the names of others. McCain is co-sponsor of the campaign finance reform law that bears his name and he is trying to move quickly to resolve any questions involving Sargeant. McCain has "a deep commitment" to strictly following campaign finance law, said Rogers. According to The Times, Abu Naba'a is a dual citizen of Jordan and the Dominican Republic. Among the extended Abdullah family in California, some couples contributed thousands of dollars to Clinton, a Democrat, and Rudolph W. Giuliani, a Republican. Other Arab-Americans in California contributed thousands to a longtime friend of Sargeant, Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, a Republican.