From NBC's Jim Popkin
A spokesman for McCain said campaign officials are reviewing hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions following newspaper reports that a foreign national may have helped bring in some of that money.
"We want to make sure that all the contributions to this campaign are appropriate," McCain spokesman Brian Rogers told NBC News.
The New York Times reported today that the business partner of a major McCain "bundler" is a foreign national who helped collect campaign-donation checks.
Rogers said the McCain campaign has issued a letter to all donors who sent their contributions through bundler Harry Sargeant III, the finance chairman of the Florida Republican Party. Sargeant's longtime business partner is Mustafa Abu Naba'a, a dual citizen of Jordan and the Dominican Republic. Sargeant told the Times that he at times left the task of collecting the checks to Naba'a.
It's illegal for foreigners to contribute their own money to U.S. campaigns.
"Due to recent news reports, we are writing to remind you of the legal requirement for making contributions to federal candidates," the McCain letter states. "John McCain 2008 is prohibited by federal law from accepting contributions from…foreign nationals," it adds.
*** UPDATE *** McCain's campaign is returning more than $40,000 in campaign donations that were solicited by a foreign national, a McCain spokesman tells NBC News. "As a precautionary measure, we are going to return any contributions that were solicited by Mr. Abu Naba'a," spokesman Brian Rogers said.