FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
NCGOP Calls for Federal Investigation Into Possible Hobbs Act Violations by Gov. Cooper
Did Cooper use his office to extort money from power companies for personal or political gain?
Raleigh, NC — Did Governor Roy Cooper violate federal law by extorting $58 million "under color of official right" to benefit himself? In a letter delivered today to U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the U.S. Attorney for North Carolina's Eastern District, the NCGOP is calling for a federal investigation into possible Hobbs Act violations by Cooper. The detailed legal brief alleges that Governor Cooper may have extorted money from power companies in a pay-to-play scheme to give himself unprecedented control of a $58 million pipeline fund. The Hobbs Act prevents wrongful property extortion by public officials whether they personally benefit financially or not.
"Calling for a federal investigation of a sitting North Carolina governor is a serious matter, and not taken lightly," said NCGOP Chairman Robin Hayes and Executive Director Dallas Woodhouse in a joint statement. "However, the conduct of Governor Cooper regarding the $58 million pipeline fund, designed to be under his sole control, appears to be the worst example of pay-to-play politics, intended to benefit him personally and/or politically. A serious look by federal investigators is warranted."
Since put in place in 1949, eight Governors have been convicted of public corruption through the Hobbs Act. The Justice Department defines the Hobbs Act as it "prohibits actual or attempted robbery or extortion affecting interstate or foreign commerce 'in any way or degree'. ...The extortion offense reaches both the obtaining of property 'under color of official right' by public officials and the obtaining of property by private actors with the victim's 'consent, induced by wrongful use of actual or threatened force, violence, or fear,' including fear of economic harm."
Click HERE to view the letter addressed to Attorney General Jeff Sessions.