Today, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) sent letters to both Attorney General Holder and the Federal Elections Commission calling for an investigation into a possible conspiracy by foreign nationals to circumvent U.S. campaign financing laws. The case involves the purchases of two $40,000 tickets to a San Francisco fundraiser for President Barack Obama held October 12, 2012. The tickets were purchased by Bilal Shehu an Albanian limousine driver, and his wife. The wife, however, did not attend the event. Instead, her ticket was used by Edi Rama, the leader of the Albanian Socialist Party. At the event, Rama posed with President Obama for a photo he is now deceitfully using in his election campaign for Prime Minister of Albania.
"It is questionable whether the Shehu family could have afforded to pay $80,000 to attend a campaign event, or to fly from their home in New Jersey to California. Where did the money come from?" asked Rep. Rohrabacher "Foreign nationals like Rama are prohibited to contribute to U.S. election campaigns, and laundering campaign contributions through someone else is also a crime.
These suspicious contributions may also be part of a scheme to affect the outcome of an election in Albania, a NATO ally."
In a speech on the House floor June 14th, Rep. Rohrabacher praised the progress Albania has made since it threw off the yoke of Communism at the end of the Cold War.
"Albania is a member of NATO that continues to contribute troops to the International Security Force in Afghanistan, and participated in the US-led liberation of Iraq," said Rohrabacher. It now aspires for membership in the European Union.
"Campaign laws in both our countries, the United States and Albania, may have been violated. At that very least, the Albanian people are being shown a photo that is essentially a lie. Implying a relationship with President Obama is deceitful. If it took a foreign source of money to get the picture, it means laws in the US were broken. If the resulting picture is being used to suggest an ongoing relationship, a fraud is being perpetrated on the people of Albania."
Rep. Rohrabacher is Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia, and Emerging Threats.