Joe Manchins massive conflicts of interest

The senator has made millions from coal, and new reporting by The Intercept has uncovered just how much damage his companies have done.




When Sen. Joe Manchin announced that he wanted a “pause” on consideration of the $3.5 trillion infrastructure bill, he said his main concern was the federal debt being left to his grandkids. Most news coverage attributes his opposition to the conservative, coal-friendly politics of West Virginia.

But reporting by The Intercept has found that there may be other reasons why he’s balking at the bill: lobbyists, campaign contributions, and his own personal financial interests.

Earlier this year, The Intercept uncovered a leaked recording of a Zoom call between Manchin and billionaire donors discussing legislative strategy. Later, we exposed an audio recording of the same Wall Street-funded dark-money group dangling campaign contributions in front of other conservative Democrats who do... their bidding.

And now, with our partners at Type Investigations, we published an expose into the environmental damage and worker safety violations of Manchin’s own coal companies.

This kind of deep-dive investigative journalism is time-consuming and expensive, and as a nonprofit news outlet, we rely on our readers to help foot the bill. Will you make a donation to help support the fearless reporting of The Intercept?

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From the moment Joe Manchin emerged as the pivotal deciding vote on most legislation in the 50-50 Senate, The Intercept has been investigating his conflicts of interests, relationships with lobbyists, and campaign fundraising.

Our new investigation of Manchin’s dirty coal empire reveals not only how the industry has made him rich, but also the countless lives his businesses helped destroy by forcing workers to endure deadly working conditions and polluting the air, water, and climate.

Even the infrastructure bill’s relatively modest and incremental provisions could reduce the value of Manchin’s business interests, and the coal industry is lobbying mightily against them — as are Manchin’s Wall Street donors who have hired their own army of lobbyists to kill any provisions that would raise their taxes or hurt their bottom line.

Meanwhile, we’ve just uncovered evidence that Manchin’s daughter, former CEO of the drug company Mylan, worked directly with the CEO of Pfizer to jack up the prices of lifesaving EpiPens. This new information is especially interesting in light of Big Pharma’s opposition to the infrastructure bill’s provision allowing Medicare to negotiate lower prescription drug costs.

This kind of original reporting requires time, expertise, and deep research into public records to connect the dots between money and votes and uncover uncomfortable facts that powerful people on both sides of the aisle would rather keep hidden.

We’re not giving a pass to Joe Manchin or any other politician. And as a nonprofit news outlet, we rely on you, our readers, to power our reporting. Please chip in whatever you can afford to help support the tireless investigative journalism you count on The Intercept to deliver every day.

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The Intercept is an award-winning nonprofit news organization dedicated to holding the powerful accountable through fearless, adversarial journalism. Our in-depth investigations and unflinching analysis focus on surveillance, war, corruption, the environment, technology, criminal justice, the media and more. Email is an important way for us to communicate with The Intercept’s readers, but if you’d like to stop hearing from us, click here to r0 from all communications. Protecting freedom of the press has never been more important. Contribute now to support our independent journalism.

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