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Prosecutors: Political fundraiser offered witnesses millions to stay quiet

Prosecutors: Political fundraiser offered witnesses millions to stay quiet
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Federal prosecutors on Friday alleged that a political fundraiser offered six witnesses in a case against him $6 million for their silence. 

The prosecutors also accused Imaad Zuberi, who is already accused of funneling foreign money into U.S. elections, of acting as an unregistered agent for the Turkish government and for Libyan government officials, as well as other foreign countries.

Zuberi later Friday pleaded guilty to counts on tax evasion, campaign finance violations and failing to register as a foreign agent.

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Prosecutors have been investigating Zuberi over millions of dollars in political donations, including those to inaugural committees of both President Obama and President TrumpDonald John TrumpObama slams Trump in Miami: 'Florida Man wouldn't even do this stuff' Trump makes his case in North Carolina, Ohio and Wisconsin Pence's chief of staff tests positive for COVID-19 MORE

The prosecutors said in a court filing that Zuberi obstructed their probe “by paying, or offering to pay, $6,150,000 to six witnesses in return for their false testimony or silence” and that they would present evidence he acted on behalf of several foreign governments. 

Zuberi is known to have ties to a high-profile Democratic Party donor linked to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s administration, and Zuberi is known to lobby on causes supported by Ankara, including efforts to have Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen extradited from Pennsylvania back to Turkey to face trial over his accused involvement in a failed coup. 

Zuber had been a big-dollar donor to both Obama and Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonObama slams Trump in Miami: 'Florida Man wouldn't even do this stuff' Ballot initiatives in Colorado, Louisiana could restrict abortion access Trump mocks Joe Biden's drive-in rallies at North Carolina event MORE, but switched allegiances to Trump shortly after his 2016 victory. He has defended the donations as “more of a networking thing” that actually backfired due to the legal scrutiny they brought.