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Exclusive: ‘Mercenary’ donor sold political influence

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Richmond, Virginia-based reporter Alan Suderman and New York-based law enforcement writer Jim Mustian reported exclusively on Imaad Zuberi, a shadowy, elite political fundraiser whose reach included private meetings with then-Vice President Joe Biden and VIP access at Donald Trump’s inauguration. Zuberi funded political campaigns in the U.S. and sold the resulting political influence to the highest-bidding foreign government overseas.

Suderman Mustian reviewed thousands of documents and interviewed more than 100 law enforcement officials, diplomats and businessmen on three continents who dealt with Zuberi during his globe-trotting years of political fundraising as he held himself out as a venture capitalist. Critically, Suderman persuaded his sources to turn over a trove of private emails that painted an unprecedented picture of Zuberi’s modus operandi.

The reporting revealed vulnerabilities in the U.S. campaign finance system and uncovered the names of politicians who had benefited from Zuberi’s largess, prompting calls for reform.

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