Las Vegas Sands Chairman and billionaire has been cleared of all foreign-money allegation charges by the Federal Election Commission (FEC) after their investigations found that there was ‘no reason to believe’ that Adelson had donated tainted foreign funds to the Republican party for the U.S election campaigns.
The 82 year old Adelson has close ties to a number of politicians in the Republican party and is one of the biggest financial donors to the party. During the 2012 election Republican election campaign, Sheldon Adelson contributed over $150 million and based on FEC records made contributions in excess of $98 million to a total of 34 political committees and candidates. Adelson has continued to support the 2016 election campaign and is believed to have pledged over $100 million to Republican nominee Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.
The FEC general counsel had issued a staff report in June based on the allegations against Adelson, after which commissioners decided to vote based on the report and gave Adelson a 5-0 vote in his favor. The FEC posted a number of documents on its website on July 19 to clear up the issue. The FEC stated that based on the report submitted, there was nothing there that would suggest that Adelson had used illegal funds to finance political campaigns in the United States.
A non-profit watchdog group called Campaign for Accountability filed a complaint with the FEC in 2015 after Chinese national Ng Lap Seng was indicted in a federal court in New York. Ng will be tried in New York for allegedly giving bribes to an official in the United Nations but there are no charges against him related to his association with Sheldon Adelson. The Campaign for Accountability alleged that Adelson had connections with prostitution and organized crime in China as they used his Macau casino operations to funnel funds in to the U.S
The Campaign for Accountability decided to withdraw its complaint with the FEC a short while later and issued an apology to Adelson for allegations that caused him deep hurt. However, the FEC informed the non-profit group that even though they had withdrawn the complaint, the FEC had to launch an investigation based on federal campaign law.
Benjamin Ginsberg of the Jones Day law firm represented Adelson in the case and stated that the complaint was withdrawn because it had no legal of factual basis to it. In a statement, Ginsberg said “All funds Mr. Adelson has contributed to U.S. elections come from his personal earnings derived from his holdings in U.S. companies (as is clearly permissible under the Federal Election Campaign Act and numerous FEC Advisory Opinions).”