I’m confused. Federal investigators are looking into potential corruption by Citibank because the bank hired family members of top government officials, potentially — get this — to help them get favorable treatment from the government!

The Times reports:

Federal authorities have opened a bribery investigation into whether JPMorgan Chase hired the children of powerful Chinese officials to help the bank win lucrative business….

One incident:

In one instance, the bank hired the son of a former Chinese banking regulator who is now the chairman of the China Everbright Group, a state-controlled financial conglomerate, according to the document, which was reviewed by The New York Times, as well as public records. After the chairman’s son came on board, JPMorgan secured multiple coveted assignments from the Chinese conglomerate,

Wait. This might be illegal? Doesn’t this sort of thing happen in Washington every day?

Many large companies hire Linda Daschle as a lobbyist, and they did so back when her husband was the Senate majority leader.

The American Council of Life Insurers landed Kimberly Dorgan as their top lobbyist. Her husband, Sen. Byron Dorgan, vociferously took the insurers’ side on the estate tax.

Other Senators with spouses as lobbyists include Elizabeth Dole and Kent Conrad.

You do know Michelle Obama got a huge raise from the University of Chicago Hospital when her husband became a U.S. Senator and started requesting earmarks for the hospital, right?

Then consider all the congressional staffers that get hired to grease the skids. Heck, there’s even a lobbying firm called “HillStaffer.”

This is S.O.P. in D.C. But it becomes a federal investigation if U.S. companies do it in China?