The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and other government agencies are conducting a broad probe of “potential security and financial risks” in a foreign visa program used to promote job growth, according to a letter sent to the Senate yesterday.

The investigations are becoming an issue in the Virginia governor’s race, where Terry McAuliffe, a Democratic fundraiser and confidant of Bill and Hillary Clinton, partnered in 2009 with a Chinese businessman in a startup company, GreenTech Automotive Inc., and worked with Anthony Rodham, the former first lady’s brother, to secure financing from Chinese investors.

In December, McAuliffe, 56, resigned from GreenTech to devote full time to his campaign. He left behind a company that employs fewer people than promised, hasn’t produce many cars and is drawing government scrutiny for promises made in its pitch to prospective foreign backers — details that Republican candidate Ken Cuccinelli, himself fending off criticism over ties to a developer under scrutiny, has repeatedly raised on the campaign trail.

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