DreamWorks CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg is co-hosting the Hollywood fundraiser for President Obama tonight at the home of George Clooney. Katzenberg has donated millions to Obama’s Super PAC and he’s a big-time donation bundler for the Obama campaign. Oh, and he’s also under investigation by the SEC because they think he bribed Chinese officials to secure a deal with the country, which by the way, was made with the help of officials in the Obama administration.
The Washington Free Beacon has the scoop.
The SEC investigation comes just weeks after Katzenberg announced this February that DreamWorks had struck a $2 billion deal to open a studio in Shanghai under the Oriental Dreamworks brand. The China deal was inked in a ceremony that featured Katzenberg alongside Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping, who stopped off in Los Angeles in February on his way back to China after a series of high-level meetings at the White House, including meetings with Obama.
Katzenberg joined Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the Chinese vice president for a meeting that led to the DreamWorks deal. In an interview with the Financial Times, Katzenberg said the deal required Xi’s personal approval in order to move forward.
The SEC investigation seeks to determine whether DreamWorks made illegal payments to Chinese officials in order to obtain the right to produce and distribute their films in the country. While DreamWorks has denied White House involvement in facilitating the deal, reports have confirmed that Biden and U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk were personally involved in a parallel negotiation with the Chinese government to increase the number of films that Hollywood studios could release in China’s tightly controlled and censored domestic film market.
Read the whole thing. Obama’s expected to haul in $15 million tonight, yet he complains about money in politics.