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[WATCH] Rep. Katie Porter Uncovers Potential Bribery Scheme Connected to Trump

[WATCH] Rep. Katie Porter Uncovers Potential Bribery Scheme Connected to Trump

After a three-year investigation by Democrats revealing evidence of possible donations to the Trump campaign in exchange for federal government approval of Arizona real estate deals, the House Natural Resources Committee made a criminal referral with the Justice Department for the first time in history.

Despite a federal wildlife official’s finding that it would threaten habitats for imperiled species, David Bernhardt, who led the Interior Department from 2019 to 2021, pushed for approval of the project by developer Michael Ingram, a Republican donor and supporter of Donald Trump’s, according to the criminal referral.

In their referral, Democrats say developer Ingram met with Bernhardt in August 2017, two weeks before a Fish and Wildlife official received the phone call directing him to reverse the decision blocking the project. The meeting was not disclosed in Bernhardt’s public calendar or travel documents. Two months later, Ingram made a $10,000 donation to the Trump Victory Fund. The permit was approved later that month. At least nine other donors associated with Ingram also donated to the Trump Victory Fund in the days after Ingram’s donation.

Calling this “egregious,” Rep. Katie Porter, who leads a House subcommittee on oversight and investigations, said the criminal referral could lead all the way to Trump himself. The panel’s findings “point to official federal agency decision-making being executed in the interest of private gain rather than the American people,” lawmakers wrote.

Rep. Porter went after Trump in a conversation with MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell, saying that this shows the importance of Congress “reestablishing the rule of law and the expectation that administration officials are going to follow it.” Watch the full segment, below.David B


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