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Sen. Susan Collins

On Thursday, February 10, the U.S. Department of Justice issued a press release announcing that three former defense contractors based in Hawaii had been indicted on federal charges for “allegedly making unlawful campaign contributions to a candidate for Congress and a political action committee.” The candidate, according to Gizmodo’s Matt Novak, was Sen. Susan Collins of Maine — and the political action committee was hers.

All three of the men indicted — Martin Kao, Clifford Chen and Lawrence “Kahele” Lum Kee — are Honolulu residents and “are charged with conspiracy to defraud the United States and to make conduit and government contractor contributions, making conduct contributions, and making government contractor contributions,” according to the DOJ’s February 10 press release.

On Thursday, February 10, the U.S. Department of Justice issued a press release announcing that three former defense contractors based in Hawaii had been indicted on federal charges for “allegedly making unlawful campaign contributions to a candidate for Congress and a political action committee.” The candidate, according to Gizmodo’s Matt Novak, was Sen. Susan Collins of Maine — and the political action committee was hers.

All three of the men indicted — Martin Kao, Clifford Chen and Lawrence “Kahele” Lum Kee — are Honolulu residents and “are charged with conspiracy to defraud the United States and to make conduit and government contractor contributions, making conduct contributions, and making government contractor contributions,” according to the DOJ’s February 10 press release.

Novak notes that Kao, former CEO of Navatek, “was also charged, in late 2020, with fraudulently receiving too much money under the Paycheck Protection Program, set up in 2020 to assist private businesses at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

“Kao, who allegedly lied about the number of employees his company had to receive more funds, has pleaded not guilty to those charges,” Novak reports.

Collins was elected to a fifth term in the U.S. Senate when she defeated Maine House Speaker Sara Gideon by 8% in 2020. The Maine senator and moderate conservative was among the minority of Republicans who voted “guilty” in former President Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial in 2021.

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

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Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons, a novel and a memoir. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.

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