Not only did Senate Democrats attempt to destroy a qualified Supreme Court candidate by dredging up bogus allegations of sexual assault, but at least two prominent Democrats sought to cash in on the political circus.
Sens. Kamala Harris (D-CA) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) face allegations of vote-buying after sending out fundraising emails asking for donations to support their upcoming votes against Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
The Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust (FACT) has asked the Senate ethics committee to investigate these emails to determine if Harris and Warren ran afoul of Senate Ethics rules prohibiting the promise of political action in exchange for donations. Although it is perfectly legal to solicit for donations which are tied to political causes, FACT, a government watchdog, insists that asking for contributions quid pro quo is not permitted.
“This is a clear violation of the Senate Ethics rules which safeguard against the appearance or actuality of elected officials ‘cashing in’ on their official position for political purposes,” said Kendra Arnold, executive director of FACT.
Warren, whose ancestral claims have been the subject of social media satire since she claimed minority status at Harvard Law School, sent out an email saying she would attempt to delay Kavanaugh’s nomination. However, she may have erred by asking for campaign contributions to support her 2018 re-election bid in the same email.
Like her colleague from New England, Harris also asked for funds while promising to fight the president’s pick for the high court. She detailed her role as a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee and reminded her constituents of her opposition to the Supreme Court nominee.
Rotten to the core
Warren has called the Trump administration the most “nakedly corrupt” in U.S. history and has called the dismal state of Washington politics “a crisis of faith.” The Democratic senator introduced anti-corruption legislation in August that was meant to reform government lobbying and force lawmakers to divest their business interests before entering office.
Warren admitted that the Anti-Corruption and Public Integrity Act which bears her name would force legislators to change their ways — “including me,” she admitted.
“Our country has responded to deep corruption with bold action before,” she told reporters at the time, although no one from the media could have guessed that she was potentially talking about her own lawlessness.
Warren’s anti-corruption legislation never really stood a chance of succeeding, and even Warren acknowledged that members of her own party might be opposed to her extreme measures. However, Warren was likely just padding her resumé ahead of a 2020 presidential bid.
Harris, too, is eyeing the presidency and is expected to throw her hat in the ring with a growing crowd of Democratic candidates. However, Harris has her own history of barely legal corruption during her term as California’s attorney general.
For instance, when tasked with summarizing ballot measures, Harris’s office used heavily biased language to unduly influence Californians and convince them to vote a certain way. “Were she chief counsel for a corporation that behaved this horribly, Kamala Harris would be pilloried, and correctly so,” wrote CalWatchdog’s Chris Reed.
Whether Warren and Harris are punished for violating campaign finance laws is yet to be seen.