Congress probing whether Democrats improperly using nonprofits, foreign money to win elections

Rep. Claudia Tenney says Ways and Means panel to investigate whether tax law broken or foreign money being used to funnel cash into elections.

Published: August 16, 2023 11:03pm

The powerful House Ways and Means Committee is opening a probe into whether liberal activists are misusing tax-exempt nonprofits to mobilize Democrat voters in battleground states, injecting foreign money into elections, or evading campaign finance laws.

Rep. Claudia Tenney, R-N.Y., a member of the tax-writing committee and a founder and the House Election Integrity Caucus, said Wednesday that Democrats are far ahead of Republicans in running campaigns to get voters to cast early or absentee ballots and lawmakers are concerned that foreign money may be seeping into the process.  

"We're going to be investigating that as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee and the Oversight Subcommittee," Tenney told the Just the News, No Noise TV show Wednesday.

The IRS says that 501(c)3 tax-exempt ground can conduct voter registration and get-out-the-vote drives but only "if they are conducted in a neutral, non-partisan manner, for example, without reference to any candidate or political party."

But Tenney said she is concerned liberal activists are using the system for "vote trafficking" to push only voters who support Democrats to the polls and to accept large funds from liberal donors or foreigners interested only in electing Democrats.

"We're going to look into whether they're abusing the IRS rules in order to get all kinds of money, whether it's foreign money or Sam Bankman-Fried's mother funneling money in there to target certain types of voters in certain demographics in swing states to make sure that they get those vote votes in," she continued. 

Committee Chairman Jason Smith sent a memo to committee members this week – obtained by Just the News – saying his team has gathered evidence suggested possible abuses of tax-exempt groups by Democrats, including mis-expenditures of tax-exempt funds and use of foreign money.

"The Committee has learned that a Super Political Action Committee (PAC) recommended donations to 501(c)(3) organizations as 'the single most effective tactic for ensuring Democratic victories' and that large donations from a wealthy donor to state election offices in 2020 may have been done in a manner that helps one political party over another," Smith wrote. "Additionally, the Committee has also found that significant amounts of foreign money is flowing through 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4) organizations to influence elections."

You can read that memo here:

Tenney implored the GOP to catch up to a Democrat machinery that has pushed millions of Americans to vote early in the last few elections and used lawsuits and litigation to gain electoral advantages.

"Republicans have to recognize that we can't just go to our top voters and plead with them about how good our policies are, we actually have to not only win over voters and do what you should do, and in a campaign is to win on policy," she said. "We also have to get people to understand they need to vote and they need to we need to get those ballots in the box. Because when a Democrat goes to the door, they get a ballot when we go to the door, we say we sure hope you vote for our candidates. And here's our great persuasive argument. And that's just reality.

She added: "We have got to get aggressive. And we also have to look at the next factor. The Democrats use the the legal system, they're doing what they call 'lawfare.' That means suing, suing, and suing." 

Election integrity has burst back into the news recently, specifically in the key battleground of Michigan. Officials there, Just the News reported Wednesday, admitted they uncovered an operation during the 2020 election that produced fraudulent ballot applications among 8,000 to 10,000 recovered by police. The case was referred to the FBI months ago, according to Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel's press secretary Danny Wimmer.

Wimmer told The Detroit News last week that the "attempted fraud" was stopped prior to Election Day because the state election system worked and the applicants were not added to the voter rolls.

Tenney said she believes the Democrats have allegedly done as "vote trafficking" that is "getting ballots from people who don't even realize or care whether they vote or not." 

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