Four people have confirmed that the FBI is currently investigating members of the Alaska State Senate connected to an apparent pay-for-play scheme.
According to the sources, who are connected to the legislature but want to remain anonymous, the scheme seems to involve promises of campaign contributions in exchange for votes on the amount of the Permanent Fund Dividend, and potentially other issues.
I first became aware of an investigation in late spring after hearing a senator had been interviewed by the FBI. However, at that time I had no other information. I heard another senator was interviewed over the summer. I have now confirmed at least three Republican senators have been interviewed by the FBI since spring.
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The issue came to a head on November 13 during a private organizational meeting of the 13 Senate Republicans. Sources who were at the meeting said Senator Peter Micciche (R – Soldotna) brought up the topic of the investigation to the group. Senator Micciche did not respond with a comment for this story. It’s not clear how many of the lawmakers at the meeting were aware of the investigation. At this point I have not been able to identify the target or targets of the investigation.
I spoke with several other Republican senators about this story. All declined to provide a comment. But one did tell me, “We are going to find the motherfucker who is talking to you.”
Chloe Martin, the Public Affairs Officer for the FBI Anchorage Field Office, provided the following comment in response to questions I sent about the investigation and interviews:
Combatting public corruption is a top priority for the FBI, and we take all allegations of this nature seriously; however, as a matter of longstanding practice, the FBI does not confirm or deny the existence of investigations, nor do we release information pertaining to interviews.
This is a developing story.