Companies under investigation contribute to election campaigns of state attorneys general and ask that investigations be dropped; and then those investigations are dropped
The New York Times reported on corporate donors to state attorneys general on Wednesday:
According to the article, an energy drink company under investigation in several states for misleading advertising contributed to the Democratic Attorneys General Association and then sent a lawyer to a weekend retreat in Santa Monica, California sponsored by the Association for its donors. There, the lawyer found the Missouri Attorney General and asked him why he was investigating her client. The Attorney General said that he did not know, called his office, and told his staff to drop out of the investigation.
This sequence of events comes very close to violating bribery laws. It is certainly unseemly and is probably conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice (see ABA Model Rule 8.4).
To be more specific, ABA Model Rule 3.8 (Special Responsibilities of a Prosecutor) should be amended to prohibit prosecutors, including state attorney generals, from discussing particular cases and investigations at political fundraisers or other events for political contributors. It would be even better if these law enforcement officials were not at the fundraisers to begin with.