U.S. Sen. Bill Hagerty is backing off his typical opposition to the Biden administration to support the president’s pick for ambassador to Japan, a position Hagerty held under former President Trump.
The rare stroke of bipartisanship on behalf of nominee Rahm Emanuel is in part inspired by the desire to finish a job Hagerty couldn’t: bringing former Nissan executive Greg Kelly of Brentwood home.
Kelly, a former senior executive at the automaker, is currently awaiting a verdict in a fraud trial in Japan, where he has been detained for three years. He is accused of helping former Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn misreport executive income.
According to Axios, Hagerty, a Tennessee Republican, called Kelly’s treatment “unfair and barbaric” and “hostage justice.”
Emanuel, whose support among Democrats is in question due to his tenure as Chicago mayor, promised to try to bring Kelly back to the United States.
Japanese prosecutors are seeking a two-year sentence for Kelly, who maintains his innocence.