Opinion

Harry Reid takes money from companies under investigation for bribery law violations

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Beltway Confidential,Opinion,Joel Gehrke,Harry Reid,Campaign Finance,MinusRelatedPhoto,Koch brothers,Bribery

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., has received campaign contributions from people and political action committees linked to multiple companies suspected of violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

The FCPA "generally prohibits the payment of bribes to foreign officials to assist in obtaining or retaining business," according to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Coincidentally, when describing Charles and David Koch as "un-American" during a recent Senate floor speech, Reid referred to a Bloomberg news story in 2011 on a French subsidiary of Koch Industries.

"These are the same brothers whose company, according to a Bloomberg investigation, paid bribes and kickbacks to win contracts in Africa, India and the Middle East," Reid said.

"I have no problem with people making a lot of money -- but it's what they do with their money," Reid told Business Insider in a subsequent interview.

Koch officials in the U.S. told Bloomberg in 2011 they had no prior knowledge of the illegal activities linked to the subsidiary. More than a dozen people were fired as a result of a French investigation, a source told the Washington Examiner in 2011.

Reid's mention of the French debacle on the Senate floor prompted some journalists to dig into the Senate Majority Leader's contribution records with the Center for Responsive Politics.

The CRP records reveal that Reid has accepted campaign money from individuals and political action committees associated with 10 companies linked to FCPA investigations.

The contributions total $515,100 between 2009 and 2013.

Here are the companies under investigation for FCPA violations, according to FCPA Blog's January 2014 list, with the amount of money their employees and PACs have given to Reid:

The blue bar is the amount given by individuals at the company, the red bar is the amount given by the company PACs, and the number atop each bar is the total amount given by company employees and PACs.

A spokesman for Reid did not respond to requests for comment yesterday.

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