“It’s a horrible law and it should be changed,” Donald Trump once said while railing against a Watergate-era law that prohibits American companies from bribing foreign government officials.
Payoffs and payback were major issues coming out of President Richard Nixon’s 1972 campaign when an investigation revealed that corporate slush funds had been used partly for bribing foreign government officials with an eye to landing contracts overseas.
As a result, in 1977 Congress passed the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), the first U.S. statute criminalizing the bribery of foreign officials.
Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, NBC News reported, may have to reckon with the reform law as a part of the federal probe into Russia’s involvement in the 2016 U.S. election. Manafort offered to give "private briefings" to Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska on the 2016 campaign, and their email exchanges suggest a possible quid-pro-quo exchange.