An influential political megadonor that contributed over $4 million to Hillary Clinton’s failed 2016 presidential campaign and other Democrats was arrested in Lithuania recently, police revealed on Monday.
He has been charged with conspiring to conceal the source of more than $3.5 million in donations during the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
Police said Ahmad “Andy” Khawaja “performed multimillion-dollar transactions and was in possession of significant amounts of money” when arrested.
His detention on Sept. 3 on an international arrest warrant was kept secret, and police confirmed it only after Monday’s ruling by a court in the Lithuanian capital, Vilnius, that he should remain in jail pending extradition hearings.
”The arrest was made exactly two months before the U.S. presidential elections and the detention period was also just the same two months,“ Khawaja lawyer Vilija Viesunaite told the 15min.lt news portal.
“I would not rule out the possibility that several unusual factors had an impact on these decisions and my client‘s rights were violated,” she was quoted as saying.
Khawaja is in custody at the request of the U.S. pursuant to an indictment issued in 2019. A Justice Department spokesperson said the agency generally does not comment on extradition matters until the defendant is returned to the United States.
Khawaja made his fortune in online payment processing by providing a key conduit in e-commerce for “high risk” merchants by helping route customers’ credit card purchases to banks.
He is the owner of an online payments company Allied Wallet Inc., and has contributed at least $6 million to Democratic and Republican candidates and groups. The donations earned Khawaja access to Hillary Clinton during the 2016 presidential campaign.
After the election, Khawaja also reportedly gave $1 million to President Donald Trump’s inaugural fund and was invited to visit the Oval Office.
Court documents made public in December 2019 indicate that the indictment charged that Khawaja had aided an unnamed female candidate.
“The indictment, unsealed on Tuesday, does not name Mrs. Clinton as the candidate who received the donations. But the indictment refers to a female candidate, and donor records indicate Mr. Khawaja gave Democrats and a political action committee supporting Mrs. Clinton millions of dollars,” The New York Times reported.
Federal donor records show Khawaja also gave millions of dollars to Democratic candidates, including the main political action committee supporting Clinton’s campaign.
He is married to a Lithuanian citizen and has property in the Baltic country.
The Associated Press contributed to this article