From The Guardian:
The US department of justice is preparing to open a corruption investigation into the arms company BAE, the Guardian has learned. It would cover the alleged Â£1bn arms deal payments to Prince Bandar of Saudi Arabia.
Washington sources familiar with the thinking of senior officials at the justice department said yesterday it was “99% certain” that a criminal inquiry would be opened under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). Such an investigation would have potentially seismic consequences for BAE, which is trying to take over US arms companies and make the Pentagon its biggest customer.
Those “seismic consequences” would be sure to extend to the relationship between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia. After all, Tony Blair scotched a British investigation of the payments for just that reason. One wonders if the Bush administration might do the same.
Here’s Spencer’s piece from earlier this week on the alleged payments to Bandar.