Since earlier this month, many have been tracking allegations that the Obama campaign has been taking donations -- illegally -- from foreign sources. Over the weekend, the New York Post reported finding evidence that the campaign was accepting foreign donations. Now, just how this was allegedly allowed to occur is being revealed.
The Post wrote that British citizen Chris Walker was able to make two $5 donations using his actual U.K. street address, inputting Arkansas as his state and using a New York zip code. Essentially a completely false address. Conducting the same experiment in trying to donate to Republican candidate Mitt Romney, Walker wasn't able to make a transaction as it pointed out the addresses didn't match the one associated with his card. The Romney donation site also prompted him to include the code from the back of his credit card while Obama's did not. The Government Accountability Institute released a report that found none of the Obama campaign websites ask donors to provide their three-digit card-verification value (CVV).
The donation page for BarackObama.com. (Image: BarackObama.com)
Mike McNally for PJ Media explained with these reports that he wanted to show "it was not only possible, but very easy" for these illegal donations to take place. McNally is a British citizen who lives outside of London.
McNally wrote he was able to donate to the campaign three times -- two of those he was even alerted to the fact that he hadn't provided a U.S. address -- through BarackObama.com.
Following a similar method as Walker, McNally entered a his correct address in the United Kingdom but had to enter a U.S. state, zip and phone to proceed to the next step. So he modified a relative's address and entered that. Not to his surprise, he received a message that his donation was being reviewed. McNally a couple days later was emailed with a notification that since his address was foreign he needed to provide a scan of his U.S. passport.
McNally received this message after completing his donation but he got an email saying it was under review. (Image via PJ Media)
Unlike the donations McNally made on BarackObama.com, Romney's donation page would not let the transaction go through as the address provided didn't match. (Image via PJ Media)
"Oddly, the email also said I needed to supply the passport page 'even though you provided a passport number when donating online'; I hadn’t supplied a passport number when I donated, or been asked to supply one," McNally wrote.
This is the email McNally received. (Image via PJ Media)
He opted to not respond to the email at all and assumed his attempted donations were rejected (he made a second $5 donation using the same method in order to take a screenshot). His bank account showed otherwise though. Not only were these two transactions (and the overseas fees) completed, but a third one in which he used a completely phony U.S. address was accepted as well.
"I was surprised that the third donation had been accepted, given that I’d supplied an address entirely unrelated to my bank details," he wrote. "But I was even more surprised to discover that the first two donations had been processed; after all, the campaign had detected that I’d supplied an overseas address, and I’d failed to supply proof of U.S. citizenship when requested to do so."
Screenshot of McNally's online bank statement showing his donations. (Image via PJ Media)
McNally wrote that "at best" the Obama campaign was not implementing the appropriate procedures to prevent foreign donations, not to mention best practices for making credit card transactions online by requiring the CCV. "At worst," which he writes "seems the more likely scenario," the campaign was purposely omitting requirements for this information in order to allow for foreign transactions to occur.
In fact, it could also allow for illegal transactions made by people using a credit card number that was not their own. Requiring a CCV is often how online credit card theft is prevented. If someone illegally obtained credit card numbers, they could, in theory, also make campaign donations on another's behalf.
In the New York Post, spokesman Michael Czin for the Obama campaign said the Federal Election Commission data, which showed a significant amount of donations were made with an no zip code or an incomplete one, were due to a "minor technical error." Czin is reported as saying "all the zip codes and numbers are real and can be verified."
TheBlaze has looked further into the GAI report; the drastically different amounts of funding raised by Obama and Romney and how this foreign donation issue could play a roll; and the Chinese authorities blocking one of the websites that was allowing such donations to take place. Learn about the Obama campaign accepting foreign donations on TheBlaze soon.