California federal prosecutors have opened a criminal investigation into Los Angeles businessman and Trump inaugural committee donor Imaad Zuberi, the Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.
The investigation comes after Manhattan federal prosecutors reportedly named Zuberi in a subpoena issued to the inaugural committee in February, purportedly as part of a broader probe into potential illegal foreign donations and influence peddling around the event.
The California investigation reportedly focuses on Zuberi’s “political donations and work with foreign governments,” potentially involving tax issues relating to the businessman’s companies. Prosecutors have reportedly asked for business records from his firms, as well as for information about his work with Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Qatar and Turkey.
Zuberi contributed $900,000 to the Trump inaugural committee, and also wrote a check for $100,000 to Michael Cohen for “real estate consulting” in the weeks before the January 2017 event. A Zuberi representative avers that the check was never cashed, and that Cohen and Zuberi did not speak after March 2017.
Before the inaugural, Zuberi was a high-flying businessman who contributed money to both political parties while investing money around the world.
Tweets the Journal cited show Zuberi’s evolution from one week before the 2016 election:
— imaad zuberi (@zuberiii) November 1, 2016
And then one week after:
Donald J Trump won in fair election. Now everyone needs to fall in line behind the President-Elect. Country First! https://t.co/KOV4wvDMCO
— imaad zuberi (@zuberiii) November 14, 2016