Curt Weldon Under FBI Investigation for Bribery
Curt Weldon joins the growing ranks of Republican congressional leaders under investigation for influence peddling.
The Justice Department is investigating whether Republican Rep. Curt Weldon of Pennsylvania traded his political influence for lucrative lobbying and consulting contracts for his daughter, according to sources with direct knowledge of the inquiry.
The FBI, which opened an investigation in recent months, has formally referred the matter to the department’s Public Integrity Section for additional scrutiny. At issue are Weldon’s efforts between 2002 and 2004 to aid two Russian companies and two Serbian brothers with ties to strongman Slobodan Milosevic, a federal law enforcement official said. The Russian companies and a Serbian foundation run by the brothers’ family each hired a firm co-owned by Weldon’s daughter, Karen, for fees totaling nearly $1 million a year, public records show.
Whether Weldon ultimately did anything illegal here, it certainly looks bad. It’s odd enough for him to be helping Russian companies drum up business, let alone for that business to “coincidentally” benefit his daughter’s firm.
Politicians have families and we can’t draw such a wide buffer zone around the former as to prevent the latter from making a living. Surely, though, such direct benefits can and should be excluded.