Earlier this month, The Washington Post reported how targets of a Senate investigation have showered Washington with campaign contributions, in an apparent attempt to buy some love and avoid sanctions. In July, the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations issued a report alleging that two European-based banks, USB of Switzerland and LGT of Liechtenstein, served as tax havens for wealthy Americans, costing the federal treasury up to $100 billion a year.
The Post article states that officials with the banks have given more than $2 million this year, $98,000 in June alone, to congressional and presidential campaigns. USB spends close to $1 million a year on lobbying and is traditionally a big campaign giver. But so far this cycle the Swiss bank’s contributions have surpassed what it gave in the whole 2006 election cycle. The Post quotes a bank spokesperson as saying the bank’s giving is in no way related to the Senate investigation. The article didn’t say, however, whether it was said with a straight face.