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But Mr. Grassley, citing “whistleblowers” at U.S, Citizenship and Immigration Services, wrote that in the summer of 2011, while the agency’s appeals office was drafting an opinion on a visa application from the Gulf Coast, “you went beyond merely monitoring or influencing the process, seeking to personally take control of the opinion. In a meeting of agency employees, including [appeals office] staff, you allegedly said: ‘Give it to me, I’ll write the fing thing myself.’”

An internal email also has a Citizenship and Immigration Services employee writing that the appeals office “had discovered some add’l dirt on [Gulf Coast] and that the decision was probably not going to play out as Ali had hoped given his political pressure to overturn the previous draft. The add’l dirt had something to do with $ changing hands in a non-EB-5 compliant way but [redacted] did not get into specifics.”

The employee goes on to voice his concern about the potential of putting politics above the law in the case.

“If there are new aspects of this situation that we are unaware of, and unresolved material issues that we are aware of, then we are setting ourselves up for a fall by pushing to approve these cases,” the employee writes. “We simply cannot approve based on politics instead of eligibility under the law.”

Mr. McAuliffe has expressed dissatisfaction with the pace at which federal officials process the visa applications but denied that he expected any preferential treatment.

“Like many business leaders and political officials from both parties, I was among those who expressed frustration on several occasions to multiple individuals. I never asked for any preferential treatment, nor did I ever expect to receive any,” he said this month in response to the announcement of the SEC investigation.

But the car company continues to provide daily fodder for Republicans, with even Mr. McAuliffe’s former business partner expressing regrets about the origins of the venture.

“I learned a lot of things,” GreenTech co-founder Charles Wang told The New York Times in his first interview since Mr. McAuliffe announced his gubernatorial bid. “Politicians or people with political backgrounds are dangerous to business.”