DeSmogBlog has obtained emails via North Dakota's Open Records Statute revealing facts that could be interpreted as indicating that North Dakota Treasurer Kelly Schmidt broke State Investment Board ethics laws.
In a radio interview responding to DeSmogBlog's original investigation about the trip, Schmidt said rolling out the red carpet for Petraeus — who now works at Manhattan-based private equity giant Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR), which holds over $1 billion in oil and gas industry assets and calls itself a “mini oil and gas company“ — was “not unusual.”
KKR initially told DeSmogBlog it followed all state and federal laws during the Petraeus visit.
Rewinding back to where it all began, for the final stops of the two-day Petraeus visit to North Dakota, he and his KKR colleagues Ari Barkan and Vance Serchuk met with representatives from the North State Investment Board and the North Dakota Department of Land Trusts.
Banal convenings at face-value, what preceded and followed the meetings tells a bigger story: first a crucial plane flight and then a follow-up invitation to come to New York City to talk business.
Looked at on the whole, the plane flight and what came after it raises fundamental legal and ethical questions about the burgeoning — and much-touted in some circles — North Dakota oil and gas Legacy Fund.