big bucks
December 11, 2018

Allies of President Trump are making quite a bit of money from foreign governments and individuals looking to avoid further U.S. sanctions, The New York Times reported Monday. And Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani may soon be one of the beneficiaries.

Giuliani, the Times reports, attended a private event in July with the Democratic Republic of Congo's special envoy to the U.S. The African country's government reportedly paid $8 million to a firm, Mer Security and Communication Systems, with the intention of hiring American lobbyists to help them avoid additional sanctions. And now, Giuliani is reportedly exploring a deal to work in the DRC, potentially through that firm. Giuliani said that it's possible he pursues business in the country but that it would "only be security consulting."

This firm has already paid over $3 million to individuals connected to Trump, such as a former liaison for his campaign and the wife of a former campaign adviser.

Additionally, the Times reports that Trump allied-attorney Alan Dershowitz is currently advising an Israeli billionaire, Dan Gertler, who was sanctioned last year. Dershowitz has spoken with Trump at the White House about the Middle East but insists he never brought Gertler up.

Bryan Lanza, a former Trump campaign aide, also led expensive lobbying efforts for a Chinese tech company and a Russian conglomerate facing sanctions. Another Chinese tech company paid Lanza's company $70,000 a month for lobbying work. And a Trump fundraiser, Brian Ballard, was paid $125,000 a month in 2017 to lobby for a state-owned bank in Turkey looking to avoid sanctions.

The result of all of this, the Times writes, is that "sanctions targets who had not previously tried to win reprieve are sensing an opening." Read more at The New York Times. Brendan Morrow

September 20, 2016

Billionaire health-care magnate Mike Fernandez, a major Republican donor from Florida, announced Tuesday that he will donate "over" $2 million to Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign.

"I specifically call on all Latinos to reject a man who encourages violence against you," Fernandez, a Cuban-American, wrote of Republican nominee Donald Trump in the email Tuesday that announced his donation. The message further explained that Fernandez intended the money to "focus on Latino outreach and registration in Florida," the Miami Herald reports.

Fernandez had previously donated $3 million to the Jeb Bush-supporting super PAC Right to Rise. But after Bush dropped out of the presidential race in February and Donald Trump secured the Republican nomination in May, Fernandez formally endorsed Clinton last month. "I harbor no illusion that Hillary Clinton is perfect," he wrote in the August op-ed announcing his endorsement. "However, Clinton is, without doubt, a superior choice to Donald Trump." Kimberly Alters

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