Following up on this story, and related complaints filed with congressional ethics watchdog offices, courtesy of Capital Research Center’s intrepid Hayden Ludwig we now see that the money behind privately financed congressional investigative staff is coming from none other than George Soros’s Open Society ventures.
Specifically, it appears that $300,000 went from Soros’ c4 (Open Society Policy Institute) to 1630 Fund for Co-Equal Action, with the grant tag, “to support work to enhance congressional effectiveness and oversight”.
Another $282,2000 went to the Hill-support operation courtesy of “eBay founder Pierre Omidyar’s Democracy Fund Voice in 2019 to ‘provide information and advice that helps members of Congress advance policies and conduct effective oversight.’”
As we now know, thanks to those two ethics complaints and yesterday’s common public right of access lawsuit for records filed against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, et al., that means providing off-books congressional investigators to augment professional staff, improperly for any Member or office which partakes, to pursue private party, political opponents.
Which is a donor-dangle to Members to violate not only House Rules but federal law, should they bite. Which House Oversight Subcommittee Chairman Ro Khanna has confessed to doing. As all laid out in those complaints. One recipient of which, the House Inspector General, immediately waved off as not being his job. Even though it seems to fall pretty cleanly within his remit of investigating management of House resources.
Democracy dies in dark-moneyness, etc. Note that this money came via Arabella’s c4 umbrella group — a hard core political entity, not some arguably nonpartisan c3 “charity” or public education institution. For a slew of quotes and critiques of the 1630 Fund c4 by WaPo, Politico et al. see CRC’s compilation here.So, we now know that partisan financing of prosecutorial or quasi-judicial activities goes beyond just Soros prosecutors, above-board and legal, or Michael Bloomberg’s scheme planting privately hired activist prosecutors to pursue his agenda through state attorneys general offices which falls into a much grayer area. It extends to off-books congressional staff, who represent a facial violation (by Members who partake) of House Rules and federal law.
This operation — hiding in plain sight courtesy of a New York Times rollout piece so clumsily incurious that it never considered the propriety or even legality of what it nonetheless confesses is revolutionary, a “unique approach” now being tried in apparent response to the election of Donald Trump as President — is a pulse-check for the institution of journalism. But, even though it’s people we like, pushing idea we agree with? It represents a test of principle for the Republican congressional minority, “Dark Money” scold Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, and any elected congressional Democrats who would like to demonstrate their rhetoric about good governance is remotely sincere.