WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Before William Barr became President Donald Trump’s choice to lead the U.S. Department of Justice, he represented Caterpillar Inc, a Fortune 100 company, in a federal criminal investigation by the department.
Much was at stake for Caterpillar: Since 2018, the Internal Revenue Service has been demanding $2.3 billion in payments from the company in connection with the tax matters under criminal investigation. The company is contesting that finding.
A week after Barr was nominated for the job of attorney general, Justice officials in Washington told the investigative team in the active criminal probe of Caterpillar to take “no further action” in the case, according to an email written by one of the agents and reviewed by Reuters.
The decision, the email said, came from the Justice Department’s Tax Division and the office of the deputy attorney general, who was then Rod Rosenstein.
“I was instructed on December 13, 2018,” wrote the agent, Jason LeBeau, “that the Tax Division and the Office of the Deputy Attorney General jointly came to the decision that no further action was to be taken on the matter until further notice.” LeBeau, an inspector general agent at the U.S. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, declined interview requests from Reuters.
Full story at Reuters