The FBI arrested multiple officials in Puerto Rico Wednesday regarding a potential “payoff” scheme using American hurricane relief aid on the island following a series of natural disasters.
“The FBI on Wednesday arrested two former senior officials who served in the administration of Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló, leading the chairman of the House committee that oversees Puerto Rico to call for the governor to step down,” reports the Washington Post.
“The arrests also spurred concerns on Capitol Hill about the billions of dollars in aid that Congress has approved for the island,” adds the newspaper. “The federal indictment says the former officials illegally directed federal funding to politically connected contractors. The arrests come about a month after Congress approved a controversial disaster aid bill that earmarked additional funding for Puerto Rico’s recovery from Hurricane Maria in 2017. The aid was tied up in part because President Trump called island officials ‘incompetent or corrupt.’
CHair @RepRaulGrijalva is calling for Gov. Rossello of Puerto Rico to step down given multiple arrests in a corruption probe. The @washingtonpost story is accurate, despite some confusion. https://t.co/sVAwGRGlvs
— Natural Resources Committee (@NRDems) July 10, 2019
“Keleher and Avila-Marrero exploited their government positions and fraudulently awarded contracts funded with federal monies,” U.S. Attorney Rosa Emilia Rodriguez-Vélez said. “The charged offenses are reprehensible, more so in light of Puerto Rico’s fiscal crisis.”
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.
BAD VACATION: Trump Slams Top Democrats for ‘Celebrating Shutdown’ in Puerto Rico
President Trump didn’t mince words when commenting on the Democrats’ recent trip to Puerto Rico Monday; saying he was in the nation’s capital “all weekend” while liberal lawmakers were “celebrating” the shutdown on a tropical beach.
— CSPAN (@cspan) January 14, 2019
“I’ve been here all weekend. A lot of the Democrats were in Puerto Rico celebrating something. I don’t know, maybe they’re celebrating the shutdown. We have a very big crisis on the border. Everybody knows it, they know it,” said the president.
“The Republicans are rock solid, we’ve got to take care of our border. Many of the people that aren’t being paid right now are in total agreement with us,” he added.
Watch the President’s comments above.
BOB’S REBUKE: Sen. Menendez Slams FOX NEWS for Reporting on Democrats’ Puerto Rico Vacation
Sen. Bob Menendez slammed Fox News Tuesday for reporting on congressional Democrats’ recent tropical retreat during the ongoing government shutdown; saying the network’s coverage “was neither fair nor balanced” in covering the lawmakers’ Puerto Rican visit.
“You could have had hours and hours and hours of meetings and you chose one thing for an hour,” said the legislator after an employee of the network posted in image of Menendez on the beach as thousands of federal workers went unpaid.
Sen. Menendez lashes out at Fox News for beach photo: 'You're neither fair nor balanced' https://t.co/IORcA5wAOm
— The Washington Times (@WashTimes) January 15, 2019
“You guys are not fair,” said the Senator. “You’re neither fair nor balanced. So, thank you.”
Read the full report at the Washington Times.