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Katie Porter Brings Receipts in Epic Takedown of Defense Contractor Exec for Swindling DoD and Taxpayers

Katie Porter Brings Receipts in Epic Takedown of Defense Contractor Exec for Swindling DoD and Taxpayers

Democratic Congresswoman Katie Porter of California swiftly built up a reputation in Congress for her incisive and relentless questioning of CEOs across an array of industries. In any committee hearing where she brandishes her famous whiteboard, the subject of her questions should expect to squirm.

Such was the case this past week, when Porter interrogated Nicholas Howley, Executive Chairman of the defense company TransDigm Group, during a House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing.

An audit by the Department of Defense Office of Inspector General found evidence that TransDigm was price-gouging the Department, citing tens of millions of dollars in excess profits. TransDigm would acquire companies used by the Military as the only source for certain spare parts before raising the prices dramatically.

Porter particularly focused on an email sent by one of TransDigm's salespeople, grilling Howley for comment on its contents.

Watch below.

The salesperson bragged in the email:

"We didn't give up a dime. I'm just full of BS and they took the bait."

Porter then added context:

"That is your salespeople talking about a deal that they just mad ewith the military for jet engine parts in 2018. ... Your salesperson said, 'I'm just full of BS, and they'—['they'] being the DoD and taxpayers—'took the bait.'"

The Congresswoman proceeded to grill Howley on whether TransDigm has a code of business ethics and conduct, which he confirmed it does. He also confirmed that the code requires some form of "fair dealing."

After these confirmations, Porter went in for the kill:

"Do you think it's fair dealing to be full of bull s***t and get the taxpayers to take the bait?"

Howley said he knew very little about the situation and wouldn't comment. Porter then pointed out that Howley is paid $68 million per year as the Executive Chairman of TransDigm—more than 200 times the typical salary of a Fortune100 company board member.

Porter concluded:

"For $68 million, you need to enforce your company's code of business ethics."

People once again praised Porter for putting profiteers' feet to the fire.

And they joined her in decrying TransDigm's practices.

While the Defense Department's audit didn't find a smoking gun of criminal offenses by TransDigm, it has requested a voluntary refund of at least $20.8 million.