08/06/2020 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 08/06/2020 20:05
WASHINGTON- Today, Representatives Ted W. Lieu (D-Los Angeles County) and Kathleen Rice (D-NY) called on the FBI to investigate allegations that U.S. Ambassador to the United Kingdom Robert Wood Johnson abused his position and tried to steer the lucrative British Open to the Trump Turnberry Resort. In a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray, the Members requested that the FBI evaluate whether Ambassador Johnson solicited bribes by offering to take official acts in exchange for moving the British Open to a property owned by the Trump family.
As former prosecutors and current Members of Congress, we request the Federal Bureau of Investigation to look into whether United States Ambassador to the United Kingdom Robert Wood Johnson IV committed any crimes. Multiple media reports document Ambassador Johnson trying to steer the lucrative British Open to the Trump Turnberry resort, which would benefit Donald Trump and his family. We don't know the details of Ambassador Johnson's conversations with British officials, but if he was being influenced in the performance or omission of any official acts in exchange for foreign officials to move the British Open to Trump Turnberry, that would constitute solicitation of a bribe.
Under 18 U.S.C. § 201, it is a felony if a 'public official' directly or indirectly 'seeks, receives, accepts or agrees to receive or accept anything of value personally or for any other person or entity, in return for being influenced in the performance of any official act' or 'being induced to do or omit to do any act in violation of the official duty of such official or person.' In this case, Ambassador Johnson is a public official and he sought something of significant value-moving the British Open to Trump Turnberry-for Donald Trump. If Ambassador Johnson's conversations with British officials included him stating he would perform or omit to perform certain official actions in exchange for moving the British Open, then all the elements for soliciting a bribe are met.
We believe the public reporting has provided more than enough of a factual predicate to open an investigation into Ambassador Johnson. Thank you for your attention to this important matter.