“Imaad Zuberi, a major Democratic fundraiser facing 12 years in prison, has filed an extraordinary complaint with the CIA’s chief watchdog alleging he witnessed “flagrant problems, abuses, violations of law” while working as an asset for U.S. intelligence, according to documents and interviews.
Zuberi, of Los Angeles, recently hired the CIA’s retired acting general counsel Robert J. Eatinger Jr. to review his case and help to appeal his conviction on a plea deal with federal prosecutors.
After reviewing evidence, including secret communications between Zuberi and his alleged CIA handlers that were enumerated in a secret Classified Information Protection Act filing in his criminal case, Eatinger prepared and delivered two complaints to the CIA inspector general earlier this month.
(…) According to multiple sources familiar with the complaints, Eatinger alleged to the inspector general that Zuberi:
- was instructed at times by U.S. intelligence to glean information from or try to achieve certain tasks with select members of Congress, including one prominent Republican U.S. senator. The CIA is not supposed to target, spy on or influence members of Congress.
- was involved in a clandestine operation that used an American journalism organization to carry out countermeasures and influence operations in a foreign country. The CIA is not supposed to use journalism organizations or journalists for operational cover.
- was asked by a senior CIA officer to make a private investment in an American drone company even as Zuberi was under criminal investigation by the Justice Department.
- observed what he believed was a U.S. intelligence asset become involved in Zuberi’s lobbying project in Sri Lanka, a project that resulted in criminal charges against Zuberi involving the Foreign Agent Registration Act.
- was asked by U.S. intelligence to allow a scrub team to delete emails, documents and other evidence of his intelligence work from his computer only later to be accused by the U.S. Justice Department of obstructing justice with the deletion.