Ex-vice chief of naval operations arrested

 June 1, 2024

A former vice chief of naval operations has been arrested. 

According to the New York Postthe ex-vice chief - retired Four-star Navy Admiral Robert Burke, was arrested on Friday.

For those unfamiliar with Burke, he was the vice chief of naval operations during part of the administration of former President Donald Trump. In other words, he was the second-highest-ranking officer in the U.S. Navy.

The Post reports that Burke is alleged to have been part of a bribery scheme.

The allegations:

The bribery scheme is said by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to have taken place after Burke left the Trump administration.

The Post reports:

Burke, 62, is accused of accepting a $500,000 yearly salary and a grant of 100,000 stock options from his co-conspirators, Yongchul “Charlie” Kim and Meghan Messenger, in exchange for using his position as a Navy admiral to steer a government contract to an entity named in the indictment as “Company A.”

Kim and Messenger are said to be the co-CEOs of "company A."

They, according to the Post, "allegedly reached out to Burke on multiple occasions between 2019 and 2022 about the status of a government contact despite being warned by the Navy not to contact the four-star admiral."

This was all in an attempt to reestablish a business relationship between this unidentified company and the Navy.

"He will be found not guilty"

Burke is now facing a range of charges, including bribery charges, conspiracy to commit bribery, performing acts to affect a personal financial interest, and concealing material facts.

If convicted of all of these charges, Burke could be hit with a prison sentence of up to 30 years. Kim and Messenger are also each facing up to twenty years in prison.

Burke, through his lawyer - Timothy Parlatore - has denied any guilt.

Parlatore said:

We intend to go to trial and we expect that he will be found not guilty. The biggest problem with this indictment is the timeline. The DOJ wrongly believes that there was a job offer and job agreement far earlier than there was. There is no quid pro quo, no job for contracts whatsoever . . . It looks odd he did later go work for them but he did not get into serious contract negotiations until the appropriate time and with the appropriate permissions.

In addition to all of this, Burke is also having his four-star admiral retirement grade reviewed, suggesting that he could be stripped of the honor.

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