Residents of three states have filed a criminal complaint with the FEC against three top Republican Congressmen for accepting illegal foreign campaign contributions. The Republican Chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committeeis one of the legislators accused of taking dirty cash, which none of them have returned as required by law.
Russian dictator Vladimir Putin’s “favorite” Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) is one of two Representatives, along with Idaho’s junior Republican Senator Jim Risch, who together, stand accused of accepting illegal straw donations to deceive election reporting requirements as well as forbidden foreign campaign contributions.
The complaint by Massachusetts lawyer J. Whitfield Larrabee is embedded below and reads:
In acting as a ringleader of the illegal scheme described in this complaint, Paul J. Manafort, Jr. conducted business through his lobbying and public relations companies, DMP International, LLC, and Davis, Manafort and Freedman.
This is a complaint based on information and belief that the Respondents violated the Federal Election Campaign Act, as amended by the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act. The Respondents participated in a scheme in which foreign nationals, the Party of Regions (of Ukraine) and the European Centre For a Modern Ukraine, indirectly gave campaign contributions to the political committees of Representative Dana Rohrabacher, Representative Edward Royce and Senator James Risch.
Paul J. Manafort, Jr., John V. Weber, Edward S. Kutler, Michael McSherry, Deirdre Stach and Gregory M. Lankler were lobbyists and foreign agents for the Party of Regions and/or the European Centre For a Modern Ukraine. Each of these lobbyists and foreign agents made campaign contributions in their own names on behalf of their foreign clients to the campaign committees of Rohrabacher, Royce and Risch.
“California Reps. Rohrabacher and Royce still have the illegal money collected from these foreign sources today, which they should have returned by now,” says the attorney Larrabee, “even after we filed a previous complaint about this matter to the House Office of Congressional Ethics.”
The FEC website shows that political campaigns are required to return illegal donations – which in this case may not be possible – or send that money to the US Treasury within 30 days.
“It has been more than 30 days since we filed our complaints and notified the Congressmen,” says Larrabee, and the complaint made headlines inside the California congressman’s district. The OC wrote last month:
As the chairman and a longstanding member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee respectively, Royce and Rohrabacher knew that accepting contributions from foreign nationals was prohibited under federal law, Larrabee charges. These payments to Rohrabacher came a year after the FBI warned him that Russian spies were trying to recruit him.
Rep. Rohrabacher, in particular, has been in the news for all of the wrong reasons lately, including his close relationship to Russian agent Rinat Akmetshin, who appeared at Donald Trump Jr.’s infamous meeting for dirt on Hillary Clinton. He was even caught flying to Moscow just to take orders from Putin via the Russian Federation’s prosecutor-general, not coincidentally, the same person who ran the Russian agents to Don Jr.’s meeting.
Republican Senator Risch sits on the powerful Senate Foreign Relations Committee and has publicly expressed doubt about Russia’s help in getting Donald Trump elected.
Republican Representative Ed Royce, chairman of the powerful House Foreign Affairs Committee, oversees legislation that impacts the diplomatic community, which includes the Department of State, the Agency for International Development (USAID), the Peace Corps, the United Nations, and the enforcement of the Arms Export Control Act.
Constituent Carole Levers, of Yorba Linda, California had this to say about the high ranking House GOP Chair:
“In 2013, Representative Ed Royce met with a lobbyist who was a foreign agent of the European Centre for a Modern Ukraine. After the meeting, Royce accepted a $2,000 campaign contribution from the lobbyist. Royce also took $3,750 in contributions from other lobbyists from the same lobbying company shortly after the meeting. That’s corrupt.”
The facts of this complaint vividly illustrate how Donald Trump’s Campaign Manager Paul Manafort was the key man in funneling pro-Putin Ukrainian political money towards key Republican congressman in charge of handling foreign affairs.
House Republicans and their lobbyists who continue to work on behalf of Putin-linked Russia issues, won great successes in slowing down and watering down retaliatory sanctions this summer after the White House got involved.
American politicians are supposed to set aside partisan issues when dealing with foreign affairs, but this criminal complaint outlines why important Republicans in Congress have meekly stood by while their President kowtows very publicly to Putin’s agenda.