Biden Trump Corrupt Practices and the FCPA
By Editor Filed in Uncategorized October 12th, 2019 @ 6:34 am
Corruption is becoming a hot political issue.
Last week, Congressman Paul Gosar (R-Arizona) called on the Justice Department to investigate former Vice President Joseph Biden for possible violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).
“I have reviewed the transcript of the phone call between President Trump and Ukraine President Zelensky and concluded that the evidence of then Vice President Biden’s potential corruption warrants a full investigation by Congress and the Department of Justice,” Gosar said. “It appears, based on former Vice President Biden’s admission captured on video, that he used his official office as Vice President to coerce a foreign nation to take action that would personally financially benefit the Vice President’s son. This is the definition of a corrupt practice.”
Not so fast says FCPA Professor Mike Koehler.
“In recent weeks some have suggested in connection with the Ukraine situation that President Trump has violated the FCPA, some have suggested that Joe Biden has violated the FCPA, and some have suggested that Rudy Guiliani has violated the FCPA,” Koehler told Corporate Crime Reporter. “I find all three suggestions, based on what is currently in the public domain, to lack merit. Among other things, the FCPA’s anti-bribery provisions require that something of value is offered or provided to specific foreign officials to influence their discretion to obtain or retain business. The FCPA’s anti-bribery provisions do not apply to offering or providing things of value to a foreign government.”
Peter Schweizer, author of Secret Empires: How the American Political Class Hides Corruption and Enriches Family and Friends took to the op-ed page of the New York Times last week to argue that “What Hunter Biden did was legal — and that’s the problem — we need a Washington Corrupt Practices Act to stop political families from self-dealing.”
“As vice president, Joe Biden served as point person on American policy toward China and Ukraine. In both instances, his son Hunter, a businessman, landed deals he was apparently unqualified to score save for one thing: his father,” Schweizer wrote.
“The Bidens are hardly alone. President Trump’s transportation secretary, Elaine Chao, and her husband, Senator Mitch McConnell, are being accused of having profited from their commercial ties to Beijing. In 2004, the two had a net worth of about $3.1 million, according to public disclosures. Three years later, the range was $3.1 million to $12.7 million. The next year, their net worth rocketed to $7.3 million to $33.1 million.”
“What changed? In 2008, Ms. Chao’s father, James Chao, gave the couple a ‘gift’ of $5 million to $25 million (politicians are required to report money in ranges, not exact amounts). Certainly, their wealth has continued to grow.”
“Mr. Chao’s generosity was made possible by the fortune he has amassed through his shipping company, Foremost Group, which has thrived in large part because of its close ties with the Chinese government.”
Schweizer proposes a Washington Corrupt Practices Act – “one that clearly shuts down foreign influence and self-enrichment for some of America’s most powerful families on both sides of the aisle.”
Mark Worth Executive Director, European Center for Whistleblower Rights says that anti-corruption activists in Europe are expressing little outrage at the Biden Ukraine scandal.
“There is a misconception that people around the world have a good understanding of American politics and media,” Worth told Corporate Crime Reporter. “A vast majority of people don’t – even among activists who you imagine would know better. All they can do is respond to the headlines, 90 percent of which are filtered through the New York Times, the Washington Post and CNN.”
“So no, there is no revulsion about the Biden situation among anti-corruption activists because the international headlines have more to do with the whistleblower who exposed President Trump’s classified phone call with Ukraine President Zelensky, and questions by Democratic Congress members and party operatives who are questioning the right of Rudolph Giuliani – a private citizen and President Trump’s personal attorney – to collect facts about what happened and appear on television to explain it to the public. So any facts that may exist about potential misconduct by the Bidens are not getting through internationally.”
Some independent voices in the United States are questioning the Democrats strategy on Ukrainegate.
“Hunter Biden got a $50,000 a month gig at a Ukrainian gas company,” journalist Aaron Mate told comedian Jimmy Dore last week. “Trump will be given ample opportunities to keep highlighting that and to keep exposing Democrats’ hypocrisy. If one of Trump’s kids got a similar gig on a lucrative gas board that would be worthy of impeachment right there. People would be drawing up articles of impeachment based on that. It’s like Russiagate, another suicide mission.”
“Trump will be re-elected in 2020 if this is what the Democrats run on,” Dore predicted.
“If you read some leftist commentary in The Nation and The Intercept — this is an idea that — Ukraine-gate is narrow, it’s not exactly what we want, but it will give us an opportunity to highlight Trump’s more serious crimes,” Mate said. “No it won’t. No one is going to be talking about attacks on workers, or attacks on healthcare. It’s going to be all about Ukraine. As if average people care about that. It’s Democrats doing everything they can to avoid talking about the issues that impact people’s lives.”
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