California Rep. Ted Lieu and New York Rep. Kathleen Rice just wrote a letter to FBI head Chris Wray asking him to open an investigation into President Trump and casino magnate Sheldon Adelson.
They believe “a crime may have occurred” on the call and they can on to name bribery as one possible crime to be investigated. They wrote,
“As former prosecutors and current Members of Congress, we request the Federal Bureau of Investigation look into whether any crimes were committed during a conversation between President Trump and Sheldon Adelson.
According to Politico, last week Mr. Adelson “reached out to Trump to talk about the Coronavirus relief bill” and “Trump brought the conversation around to the campaign and confronted Adelson about why he wasn’t doing more to bolster his reelection.
”Depending on the details of that conversation, a crime may have occurred. It is illegal for a donor to ask an elected official to take action on a specific piece of legislation and in exchange give money or agree to give money.
Under 18 U.S.C. § 201, it is bribery if a donor “directly or indirectly, corruptly gives, offers or promises anything of value to any public official” with intent “to influence any official act.”
In this case, Mr. Adelson discussed a specific piece of legislation, the Coronavirus relief bill, with the President. In the same conversation, the President asked Mr. Adelson to do more to support his campaign.
Depending on what exactly was said, a bribe or solicitation of a bribe may have occurred.
The conversation related to an official act, which would be action related to the Coronavirus relief bill.
If Mr. Adelson also directly or indirectly promised anything of value to the President, or in fact makes another donation to support the President in exchange for a certain action, then that could meet the elements of bribery.
We believe the public reporting has provided more than enough of a factual predicate to open an investigation into this matter.
We thank you in advance for your consideration of this request.”
Ted W. Lieu
Member of Congress
Member of Congress