KBR Made Illegal Campaign Contributions…to Lyndon Johnson in 1941

Wednesday, June 08, 2011
(photo: Ronald Wade Collection)
Long before KBR, a one-time subsidiary of Halliburton, got into trouble over its government contracts during the Iraq war, the firm was part of a tax controversy involving Lyndon Johnson before he became president of the United States.
In 1941, the firm—then known as Brown & Root—made large, unreported contributions to Johnson’s failed U.S. Senate campaign. An IRS investigator got wind of the scheme and launched where would turn out to be a three-year investigation. His final report cited tax deficiencies of $1.1 million and a penalty of nearly $500,000. But Brown & Root ended up paying only $372,000, and nothing in the way of indictments or unwanted publicity surfaced.
Johnson, then a congressman from Texas, had connections in the Franklin D. Roosevelt White House, which led to the IRS Chief of Intelligence ordering his agents to end the investigation.
-Noel Brinkerhoff


Leave a comment