REPS LIEU AND RICE CALL FOR BRIBERY INVESTIGATION INTO COMPANY INVOLVED IN TRUMP JULY 4TH CELEBRATION

July 12, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON – Today, Congressman Ted W. Lieu (D-Los Angeles County) and Congresswoman Kathleen Rice (D-NY) urged FBI Director Christopher Wray to investigate whether the CEO of Phantom Fireworks or other company executives provided fireworks for the President’s Fourth of July celebration in exchange for the Administration forgoing $300 billion in tariffs on Chinese goods, including fireworks.

In the letter, the Members write:

Dear Director Wray,

As former prosecutors, we write with deep concern about recent revelations that the CEO of Phantom Fireworks, who personally lobbied President Trump against expanded tariffs on Chinese goods, also donated $750,000 worth of fireworks for the President’s “Salute to America” Fourth of July celebration. The same day on which the donation was announced, the Trump Administration agreed to forgo $300 billion in tariffs on Chinese goods – which reportedly included fireworks. We request an investigation to determine whether Phantom Fireworks’ CEO or any other company executives bribed, or attempted to bribe, the President in exchange for favorable trade policies.

Bribery of public officials is prohibited under 18 U.S.C. 201 (b)(1). If Phantom donated its fireworks for corrupt purposes, its executives could be held criminally liable. In executing its “top criminal investigative priority” of combatting public corruption, we believe the FBI has a duty to swiftly examine this potentially illegal behavior.

We appreciate your attention to this matter and look forward to hearing from you in a timely manner.

Sincerely,

Ted W. Lieu                                                                         
Member of Congress

Kathleen Rice
Member of Congress

TEXT OF THE LETTER CAN BE FOUND HERE

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