A longtime foreign Clinton friend and multi-billion-dollar Clinton Foundation donor was denied a visitor visa to the United States in 2015 due to his support of a Lebanese politician connected to Hezbollah.
Chagoury had planned a trip to Los Angeles in 2015 and applied for a visitor’s visa at the U.S. embassy in Paris, but the U.S. State Department refused to approve it.
According to Breitbart, “Chagoury’s visa denial derived from his political support for Michel Aoun, a Lebanese Christian politician whose political party is part of a coalition with Hezbollah, the Shiite Muslim group backed by Iran and which currently holds a terrorist organization classification by the U.S. government.”
The LA Times reports that Nigerian billionaire Gilbert Chagoury is one of Africa’s richest men, and due to the large checks he has written, has been close friends with Bill and Hillary Clinton since the 1990’s. He also owns a “hilltop mansion” in Beverly Hills.
Chagoury was born in 1946 in Lagos to Lebanese parents, and as a child attended school in Lebanon. He sold shoes and cars in Nigeria, according to a biography on his website, before marrying the daughter of a prominent Nigerian businessman. During the rule of Gen. Sani Abacha, who seized power in Nigeria in 1993, Chagoury prospered, receiving development deals and oil franchises.
By the time Hillary Clinton became Secretary of State, they used Chagoury to get access to top diplomats, says LA Times.
In 1996 Chagoury gave $460,000 to a voter registration group run by Clinton allies, and was invited to the Clinton’s White House Christmas party just two months later.
Around the same time period, he found himself in a bit of trouble, accused of funneling over $4 billion from Nigeria into foreign banks, including Switzerland and Luxembourg, and described as a front man for the late Nigerian military dictator Sani Abacha.
Nigerian prosecutor Nuhu Ribadu said, “You couldn’t investigate corruption without looking at Chagoury.”
He was convicted of money laundering and “aiding a criminal organization” by Switzerland in 2000.
Regardless of all that, the Clinton Foundation accepted his gift of at least $1 million. In addition, Chagoury pledged a $1 billion gift to the Clinton Global Initiative in 2009, and was awarded the annual “sustainable development prize” by the CGI that year.
By 2010, his name was added to the federal terrorist no-fly list, over suspicious links to funding extremist organizations, a DHS document shows, but enough money spent on legal fees got him out that, along with a written apology “for any inconvenience or unpleasantness” from the U.S. and permission to fly to the U.S. once more.
LA Times reports that the ties with the Clintons were so thick that Chagoury even attended Bill Clinton’s 60th birthday fundraiser in 2006 and once helped get Clinton to St. Lucia where he was paid $100,000 to give a speech. Doug Band, Clinton’s aide and Foundation executive, Doug Band, even invited Chagoury to his wedding.
On a Saturday in April 2009, (the year of Chagoury’s $1 billion gift), Doug Band sent an urgent email to Hillary’s aide, Huma Abedin, saying, “We need Gilbert Chagoury to speak to the substance person re Lebanon. As you know, he’s key guy there and to us, and is loved in Lebanon. Very imp.”
Abedin responded that she would talk to Jeff Feltman. Doug Band replied, “Better if you call him, Now preferable, This is very important, He’s awake I’m sure.”
The LA Times reports that since Chagoury’s visa application was denied last year, his 18,000-square-foot mansion in Beverly Hills is now up for sale for $135 million.
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