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The Ohio statehouse. Photo: Matthew Hatcher/Getty Images

Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder (R) and four others were arrested on Tuesday on charges stemming from a $60 million bribery case brought by U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio David DeVillers.

Why it matters: It's likely the "largest bribery, money-laundering scheme ever perpetrated against the people of the state of Ohio," DeVillers said at a press conference.

Details: According to an 80-page criminal complaint unsealed Tuesday, a dark-money "enterprise" received millions of dollars from March 2017 to March 2020 "in exchange for Householder’s and the enterprise’s help in passing House Bill 6, a billion-dollar bailout that saved two failed, Ohio nuclear power plants from closing."

  • That money was used to line Householder's pockets and help him secure support for his Ohio House speaker bid, according to DeVillers.
  • The four additional men arrested include Householder adviser Jeffrey Longstreth, lobbyist Neil Clark, former Ohio Republican Party chair Matthew Borges and co-founder of The Oxley Group Juan Cespedes.
  • Householder and his associates made incriminating statements about their illegal activities in meetings with undercover agents. More arrests are expected, according to DeVillers.

What they're saying: "All forms of public corruption are unacceptable," said FBI Cincinnati Special Agent in Charge Chris Hoffman. "When the corruption is alleged to reach some of the highest levels of our state government, the citizens of Ohio should be shocked and appalled."

What to watch: Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) called on Householder to resign, saying it would be impossible for him to serve effectively as leader of the Ohio legislature.

Read the FBI complaint.

This story is developing. Please check back for updates.

Go deeper

Jul 31, 2020 - Podcasts

Ohio Secretary of State: Election results could take weeks

We obviously don’t know who will win this year’s presidential election, but we do know that the 2020 voting process will be more complicated than in any past election of our lifetimes in terms of safety, security, and logistics.

Axios Re:Cap digs in with Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose, a Republican, who tells us he's confident in the process but that it could take weeks to know results from his state.

Ina Fried, author of Login
2 hours ago - Technology

Intel CEO sees making own chips as a matter of national security

Pat Gelsinger. Photo: Axios on HBO

Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger is putting the pressure on the U.S. government to help subsidize chip manufacturing, insisting the current reliance on plants in Taiwan and Korea as "geopolitically unstable."

Why it matters: There is bipartisan support for funding the domestic semiconductor industry, but Congress has yet to sign the check. The Senate has passed the CHIPS Act that includes $52 billion in semiconductor investment, but it has yet to pass the House.

Updated 2 hours ago - World

17 U.S. and Canadian missionaries kidnapped in Haiti

Haitian soldiers guard the public prosecutor's office in Port-au-Prince this month. Photo: Richard Pierrin/AFP via Getty Images

Children are among a group of 17 missionaries kidnapped in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, per a statement from Christian Aid Ministries Sunday.

The latest: "The group of 16 U.S citizens and one Canadian citizen includes five men, seven women, and five children," the Ohio-based group said. Haitian police inspector Frantz Champagne on Sunday identified the 400 Mawozo gang as the group responsible, in a statement to AP.