The FBI and Department of Justice should investigate whether Donald Trump violated the law by promising political favors, if re-elected, to the oil and gas industry in exchange for $1 billion in campaign donations, according to a complaint filed today by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. In a closed door meeting in April, Trump reportedly told a group of oil and gas executives that they should raise $1 billion for his campaign and promised that he would take specific actions, including issuing drilling and export permits that some oil and gas companies have pursued for years, on “day one” of his next presidential term. 

Trump reportedly described the offer as a “deal,” and public reporting shows that since this meeting, Trump’s fundraising from the oil and gas industry has picked up substantially and that the industry has been drafting executive orders that its members hope Trump would quickly implement as president. 

“We cannot have government officials making important policy as a result of corrupt exchanges that benefit them, rather than what is in the interest of the American people. That’s why the law is clear that a request for a benefit, including campaign contributions, in exchange for an official act is a bribe,” said CREW President Noah Bookbinder. “Donald Trump’s actions here follow a pattern of Trump opening himself up to corrupt influence, courting conflicts of interest, and using official positions to enrich himself–and in this case may run afoul of the criminal law.”

Should he regain the presidency, Trump will be in a position to lead and pressure the federal agencies responsible for regulating the oil and gas industries and to issue executive orders that will directly affect those industries.

“It is crucial that we have a quick and thorough investigation to determine whether Donald Trump’s conduct with oil and gas executives violate core corruption laws which are meant to protect the government from undue influence and corruption,” said Bookbinder. “The public deserves to know whether Trump’s request for $1 billion went beyond merely epitomizing our system of excessive corporate influence on politics and in fact crossed the legal line.”

Read More in Legal Complaints