Three key Democratic members of the House Judiciary Committee – the same panel that led the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump – are now facing serious allegations of their own.
And all three could soon be the subject of major investigations into potentially unethical and possibly illegal campaign fundraising activities.
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Nonprofit watchdog group, Americans for Public Trust, filed a series of complaints against representatives Madeleine Dean, D-PA., Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash. and Lucy McBath, GA., alleging “suspicious activities” by the trio.
“Our message is clear,” the organization said. “No one is above the law – not even members of Congress.”
The three complaints are over finance matters – but each one is unrelated to the other.
Here’s what the organization is alleging:
McBath: Americans for Public Trust says the nonprofit group Everytown for Gun Safety helped her campaign – and worked against her opponent – while she served as its paid national spokesperson. That, they allege, would constitute “coordinated communication,” which is a violation.
“If Everytown’s spending was coordinated with Rep. McBath, it would constitute millions of dollars in illegal campaign contributions that were unreported, excessive, and prohibited by law,” the group said.
Dean: She’s accused of using funds from a state campaign for lieutenant governor in Pennsylvania for her congressional run – but state campaign contributions don’t have the same strict reporting and contribution limits as federal contributions.
As a result, using state contributions in a federal election is a violation of campaign finance law, the group said.
“Dean is a former professor of English at LaSalle University who actually taught ethics,” the organization noted in disbelief.
A Dean spokesperson denied the allegations, telling the Washington Times that the complaint is “incorrect and without merit.”
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Jayapal: She’s accused of using social media to solicit donations to her campaign to keep “momentum going” for a bill she introduced for “Medicare for All.” Those posts linked to coverage of the hearing on her bill and urged supporters to watch C-SPAN.
Americans for Public Trust says that violates multiple House rules – including rules against seeking money to advance legislation.
However, the complaints are facing a couple of roadblocks that make it tough for anything more will come from the demand.
Members of Congress are typically tend not to investigation each other — one of the few bipartisan traditions in Washington that persist.
In 2018, for example, Jayapal was arrested during an immigration protest in the Hart Senate Office Building. The ethics committee found she had been arrested “crowding, obstructing, or incommoding,” but declined to launch a formal investigation into the matter.
She ultimately paid a $50 fine.
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The FEC may be even more toothless, at least at the moment.
— Walter W. Murray is a reporter for The Horn News. He is an outspoken conservative and a survival expert, and is the author of “America’s Final Warning.”