Mitt Romney’s special fund for wealthy donors — those normally giving between $30,000 and $100,000 — raised $45 million in the final three weeks of the campaign, and had $12 million remaining in the bank as of Nov. 26, though at least one of those donors raises questions of its legality.
On Election Day, Naguib Sawiris gave the Romney fund $78,000 despite listing an address in Egypt and did not provide required employment information, .
The Egyptian billionaire gave up his position as “chairman of Orascom Telecom in order to pursue his political ambitions” last year, according to a profile in Forbes, starting “a new political party, Al Masryeen Al Ahrar, which means The Free Egyptians.”
Forbes gave his citizenship as Egyptian and did not mention dual U.S. citizenship, raising questions about the legality of the Romney campaign accepting the contribution.
The Romney campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Charges of accepting foreigners’ money also have dogged both of Barack Obama’s presidential campaigns, and his spokesmen have defended the practice of accepting all moneys for the moment and then returning it later if it turns out that the person cannot legally donate to U.S. campaigns.
Former game-show host Bob Barker attempted to give $250,000, but had all but $76,000 refunded because it exceeded the contribution cap. He gave to a super PAC instead.
The fund also raised $750,000 in money “bundled” by Washington lobbyists in the final three weeks of the campaign, disclosures showed Thursday, led by $210,000 from Robert T. Grand of Barnes and Thornburg.
Romney for President and Romney Victory raised $86 million from Oct. 18 to Nov. 26., according to spokeswoman Gail Gitcho, and the campaign will report $25 million in the bank in addition to the $12 million in the large-donor fund.
“The campaign continues to process invoices for pre-election expenses and forecasts that there will be less than $1 million at year end,” she said in a statement.
In the final three weeks, the big-donor fund, which is a partnership between the RNC and the candidate, paid $25 million to Targeted Victory, the firm of Romney digital chief Zac Moffatt, and $7 million to VG, a fundraising firm connected to another top campaign official.
Mr. Romney received 595,712 donations of less than $250 from Oct. 18 to Nov. 26, Mrs. Gitcho said.