Remember those five minutes when Republican Senator Bob Corker tried to position himself as the principled conservative opposition to Donald Trump? That ended this week, when the GOP bribed Corker into voting for his tax scam bill by adding a provision that benefitted him financially. It turns out Corker is nothing more than a financially corrupt conservative who happens to personally dislike Trump. Now it turns out Corker could be in actual legal trouble for his vote.
Corker, who is set to retire from the Senate in about a year, faced immediate blowback when it was revealed that he changed his vote to “yes” after the Republican Party made a change to the bill which sharply boosted Corker’s own personal financial prospects. There has been some debate in legal circles as to whether this qualifies an actual crime under the law, or merely a moral crime. But we may be about to find out – and Corker may be far from the only one facing potential reckoning.
The current Republican-controlled Congress naturally won’t investigate Bob Corker for any laws he may have broken in the name of voting for their corrupt tax bill. However, with Corker set to become a private citizen at the end of 2018, he could theoretically be prosecuted like anyone else who has committed financial fraud. If it can be demonstrated that he changed his vote specifically because he was offered a provision whose primary purpose was to personally enrich him, it could be categorized as a “kickback” or essentially a bribe.
There may be other Republicans in Congress who committed financial fraud with regard to the tax bill. Scott Dworkin of the Democratic Coalition shared this on Sunday evening: “Spoiler Alert: Corker isn’t the only one who got kickbacks-one Rep even got something in the bill that supports the beer lobby-his son is a beer lobbyist. People are going to prison over this GOP Tax Scam.” If the Democrats take control of Congress in the midterms, they could force these alleged crimes to be investigated.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report