Trump officials gave pandemic loan to trucking company despite objections

Other lawmakers, however, have been deeply skeptical of the loan, which is being investigated by the Congressional Oversight Committee, a bipartisan group that was set up to oversee some of the money from rescue. Representative French Hill, a Republican from Arkansas who sits on that commission, said the loan should not have been given.

“As I’ve said before, the $700 million taxpayer-backed loan from the Treasury to Yellow, formerly YRC, was a mistake, and now the commission is focusing on how we can prevent that from happening. happen again,” Hill said.

Yellow had many ties to the Trump administration. The company had financial backing from Apollo Global Management, a private equity firm with close ties to administration officials. Mr. Trump had chosen the company’s chief executive, Darren D. Hawkins, to serve on a coronavirus economics task force. And he had named the company’s former chief executive, William D. Zollars, to the board of governors of the US Postal Service.

The report accuses Yellow of misrepresenting his business to help secure the loan. He claimed to provide a greater share of trucking services to the Department of Defense than the department rated. Communications included in the report also showed a business executive discussing the use of funds to catch up capital investments as relief money was supposed to be used to offset losses from the pandemic. The executive said the company had its “hand in the cookie jar”.

Along with the report’s release, Mr. Clyburn sent a letter to the Treasury Department’s inspector general asking for an investigation into whether Yellow had violated the False Claims Act.

A law firm representing Yellow sent a letter to Mr Clyburn ahead of the report’s release defending the company’s actions and describing many of the allegations as “baseless”. The company stood by the data on trucking services provided when applying for the loan and said Yellow had paid more than $25 million in interest on the loan. The letter also stated that the company had settled his dispute with the government last month.

The letter, which was written by Marc E. Kasowitz, who was previously Mr. Trump’s personal attorney, was provided to The New York Times by Heather Nauert, a Yellow adviser who was previously spokesperson for Mike Pompeo, Mr. Trump’s secretary. State.

Maggie Haberman contributed report.