Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Tuesday accused the Koch brothers of unlawful business practices in an effort to portray the conservative billionaires as election-year bogeymen.
Reid charged that Charles and David Koch, who are tied for fourth place on the Forbes list of 400 richest people in the United States, violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, citing a 2011 report by Bloomberg Markets magazine.
“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 on the Senate floor. “These are the same brothers who, according to the same report, used foreign subsidiaries to sell millions of dollars of equipment to Iran, a state sponsor of terrorism.”
Representatives of the Kochs’s business empire fired back quickly in what has become an escalating battle between the top Democrat in Congress and the press-shy business titans.
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