Forbes: Mexican Billionaire Ricardo Salinas' U.S. Subsidiary Donated $250K To Trump's Inaugural, FEC Shows


Brendan Fischer of the Campaign Legal Center, a nonprofit pro-transparency watchdog group, told me that as a general matter, foreign corporations fall under the foreign national contribution ban.

"However," he explained, "a domestic subsidiary of a foreign-owned corporation may make contributions or donations, provided that the funds are derived from U.S.-based operations and only U.S. nationals [meaning citizens and green card holders] are involved in the decision to make the contribution or donation."

Unless a foreign national participated in Advance America’s decision to make the donation to Trump’s inaugural committee, Fischer said, it was likely lawful. "If Mr. [Salinas] Pliego is not a U.S. citizen or U.S. green card holder [permanent resident], and directed Advance America to make the donation, that would likely violate the law," he said. Fischer cautioned that he has no evidence that this happened.

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