Trump donor to plead guilty to obstruction of justice charge, lawyer says

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Imaad Zuberi, an American venture capitalist who donated $900,000 to President Donald Trump’s inaugural committee, will plead guilty to one count of obstruction of justice for allegedly impeding a federal investigation into the inaugural fund, his attorney said.

Zuberi has agreed to plead guilty to obstruction and will ask to transfer the case to Los Angeles where he previously pleaded guilty to separate criminal charges, attorney David Kelley told CNN on Tuesday.

Prosecutors with the US attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York allege after Zuberi learned of the federal inquiry he then took steps to block it. Alleged actions included back-dating a check that would have revealed that his donation included $50,000 from another US citizen and deleting emails reflecting a $5.8 million transfer from a foreign national that came in around the time of his political donation.

The charges were announced in a criminal information, a document that indicates the defendant will plead guilty to the charges.

Zuberi was one of the largest donors to Trump’s inaugural fund in 2016 and was the only individual identified by name in a subpoena sent to the President’s Inaugural Committee in February 2019. Prosecutors allege once Zuberi learned about that investigation he took steps to obstruct prosecutors. Zuberi is also a longtime Democratic donor and was a major donor on fundraising committees for Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

In November, Zuberi agreed to plead guilty to three criminal counts brought by the US attorney’s office in Los Angeles charging him with failing to register as a foreign lobbyist, tax fraud and funneling foreign money into US elections.

By Kara Scannell and Chandelis Duster, CNN

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