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Mexican Billionaire Drops Potential Bombshell Against Former DA Dumanis One Day Before His Sentencing

October 26, 2017 1:19 p.m.

Azano Says Bonnie Dumanis Knew He Could Not Legally Donate To Her Campaign


Amita Sharma, investigative reporter, KPBS News

Related Story: Mexican Billionaire Drops Potential Bombshell Against Former DA Dumanis One Day Before His Sentencing


This is a rush transcript created by a contractor for KPBS to improve accessibility for the deaf and hard-of-hearing. Please refer to the media file as the formal record of this interview. Opinions expressed by guests during interviews reflect the guest’s individual views and do not necessarily represent those of KPBS staff, members or its sponsors.

Was about to wrap up tomorrow with the sentencing hearing. Allegations made by him in a memo have heat of the story once again. He was convicted of making close to $600,000 in campaign contributions in the San Diego Mayor's race and 2012. Those donations were illegal because foreign nationals are not allowed to contribute to campaigns. In the memo, the Mexican businessman makes allegation that a politician he donated to Bonnie Dumanis new he was to a U.S. citizen and did not have a green card. Joining me is transferring to. How does it say is -- say that Bonnie Dumanis found out he was an assistant?It is in March 2012 when she was in the middle of her campaign he went to a meeting with her and their she introduced him as a good citizen of San Diego. He says he merely told the people at that meeting that he was not a U.S. citizen and they could not do business with the Sheriff's office. After he left the meeting with Bonnie Dumanis, she said if he had a residence card and that's when he said no and he only had a Mexican passport and a visa.This is new. He did not make this claim during the trial. You spoke with his attorney do we know why this accusation is coming out now question markI spoke with his lawyer and he says this wasn't relevant at trial but it is relevant to the sentencing. He made a point of saying that I was not the lawyer on this case during the trial. He was not during the trial and he wants the judge to know that there were people who benefited from these donations that did not face repercussions. He said it appears that the government took a pass on people that they should not take in. He did not go as far seen as they should have prosecuted him. Basically he said he wants the judge in this case to have a greater understanding that the people who benefited from the money that he gave cannot face the consequences and that he is facing.Is it a crime for them to accept campaign money from a person who is not a citizen MarkIt is. We know that it is legal to contribute to U.S. campaigns and also violation for a candidate to knowingly accept money from someone who is not an eligible donor. Should be said that he paid $100,000 for social media services for her run. The campaign never recorded the work on disclosure forms. He said that the action committee through a company and contributed $100,000 to that. Prosecutors told the jury that a full 25% of the money during her run for mayor came from him through donors.Bonnie Dumanis testified at the trial. What did she say about what she knew about him?She was a witness at the stand and testified that she believed he was a U.S. citizen. She said that she was aware that he had been helping her campaign.Bonnie Dumanis is now running for a seat on the San Diego county Board of Supervisors. Has she commented on the new allegations?She says as a prosecutor and former judge, she views his comments as a common Hail Mary tactic trying to save their clients from the consequences of their actions worker sheet reiterated that she was never made aware that he was a for national and that he never gave money to her campaign or a committee that she control.Is there any indication that this allegation will put pressure on law enforcement to do further investigation into what Bonnie Dumanis knew when she accepted the donations?It's not known at this point. If he is to be believed, she may have lied under oath in the prosecutors would reconvene a grand jury and call in her to an testify. I have to say that the answer to a key question over this case for three years did then Bonnie Dumanis no he was a foreign national without a green card when she was aware he was helping her campaign?You spoke with the attorney for José who says that this information was not necessarily relevant during trial but is relevant for sentencing. Why does he say it's relevant for sentencing?It comes back to this issue of there were people who received his money. What were the consequences that they faced? Would they know? He gave the money and he's facing up to six years possibly 10 years in prison. Compare those consequences to the recipients of his money.So they are banking on this sentencing memo.That's also unclear. To me and says that he doesn't know that it's going to impact sentencing tomorrow because the key argument he's going to make is that should have an effect on what kind of sentence he's given and asking that he face no time and just get probation. Other people are saying that it's hard where prosecutors gloss over the [ Indiscernible ]. The other people that were mentioned as being present -- we will leave it there. I've been speaking with Amita Sharma.