Watchdog Sounds Alarm, Calls for FEC to Probe Swiss Billionaire Over Donations to Democratic Causes

© Wikimedia CommonsHansjorg Wyss
Hansjorg Wyss - Sputnik International, 1920, 24.05.2022
Hansjorg Wyss, a Swiss-born resident of Wyoming who has an estimated net worth of $5.1 billion, sold medical device manufacturing company Synthes USA to Johnson & Johnson for $19.7 billion back in 2012, and is regarded by Forbes as “among the most philanthropic people in the world.”
Caitlin Sutherland, executive director of Americans for Public Trust, is urging the Federal Election Commission (FEC) to “take action” and probe a complaint filed against Swiss billionaire Hansjorg Wyss, a donor for Democratic causes who stands accused of giving millions to so-called dark money groups.
“Until the FEC takes action and investigates that daisy chain of pattern between the money flow, we will not know the full extent of his involvement in our US politics,” Sutherland said during a Monday appearance on HillTV’s ‘Rising.’
The group first called on the FEC to take action in its May 2021 complaint against Wyss, who contributed over $135 million to the Sixteen Thirty Fund.
Some $60 million of that then went to fund super PACs that supported US President Joe Biden, according to Sutherland.
The complaint accuses Wyss of “potentially funneling hundreds of millions of dollars” via the Arabella Advisors.
Spokespersons for Wyss have reportedly told the Daily Mail that his donations are permissible because he is supporting causes, rather than directly funneling money to political candidates.
“A foreign national … is contributing to a group and that group has then financed super PACs that support Joe Biden, U.S. Senate candidates, ballot initiatives, everything across the board,” Sutherland told The Hill, noting that the act would be “indirect participation,” which is illegal under US law.
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