Mitch McConnell certainly remains one of the most corrupt people in Washington, but his wife, former Dubya Labor Secretary and Trump Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, is just as bad. Turns out the Trump regime sat on an inspector general's report that Chao was so corrupt that she was referred to the Justice Department for prosecution, something of course Bill Barr ignored.
While serving as transportation secretary during the Trump administration, Elaine Chao repeatedly used her office staff to help family members who run a shipping business with extensive ties to China, a report released Wednesday by the Transportation Department’s inspector general concluded.
The inspector general referred the matter to the Justice Department in December for possible criminal investigation. But in the weeks before the end of Trump administration, two Justice Department divisions declined to do so.
Ms. Chao, the wife of Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader, announced her resignation on Jan. 7, the day after the Capitol riot. At the time of her departure, an aide to Ms. Chao said her resignation was unrelated to the inspector general’s investigation.
The investigation of Ms. Chao came after a 2019 report in The New York Times that detailed her interactions with her family while serving as transportation secretary, including a trip she had planned to take to China in 2017 with her father and sister. The inspector general’s report confirmed that the planning for the trip, which was canceled, raised ethics concerns among other government officials.
As transportation secretary, Ms. Chao was the top Trump administration official overseeing the American shipping industry, which is in steep decline and is being battered by Chinese competitors.
“A formal investigation into potential misuses of position was warranted,” Mitch Behm, the Transportation Department’s deputy inspector general, said to House lawmakers on Tuesday in a letter accompanying a 44-page report detailing the investigation into “use of public office for private gain.”
The investigators did not make a formal finding that Ms. Chao violated ethics rules. But they detailed more than a dozen instances where her office took steps to handle matters related to her father, who built up a New York-based shipping company after immigrating to the United States from Taiwan in the late 1950s, and to her sister, who runs the company now.
These included an interview with a Chinese-language television station at the New York City headquarters of Foremost Group, the shipping company. The focus of the conversation there, according to a Transportation Department translation of the media plan prepared for the interview, was to discuss how Ms. Chao’s father, James Chao, had been “dubbed ‘Chinese Ship King,’ how Foremost Group ‘ascended to its status in the world,’ and Dr. Chao’s business endeavors.”
Mr. Chao, 93, who was born in China, built a business that centered around transporting commodities like coal and iron ore to the Chinese market. Elaine Chao, his eldest daughter, who was raised in and around New York City, has been prominent in Republican politics for decades, including an eight-year term as labor secretary under President George W. Bush.
Foremost Group was responsible as of 2019 for a large portion of orders at one of China’s biggest state-funded shipyards, and had secured long-term charters with a Chinese state-owned steel maker, The Times reported.
The Chao family’s American success story has vaulted the family to celebrity status in China, and the Chaos regularly meet with top officials on their trips to the country.
In a statement on Wednesday, a public relations firm representing Ms. Chao said the report cleared her of any wrongdoing.
“This report exonerates the secretary from baseless accusations and closes the book on an election-year effort to impugn her history-making career as the first Asian-American woman appointed to a president’s cabinet and her outstanding record as the longest tenured cabinet member since World War II,” the statement said.
Turns out the reason the Trump regime screamed about "Biden crime family's corrupt China deals!" for years was because the wife of the Senate Majority Leader was actually the one getting rich off Beijing for herself and her family.
That's how all this works, you see.