Setting aside her recent embarrassing foray into Native American genealogy, Democrat Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren is still beloved by many progressive leftists and is considered to be part of the top tier of potential Democratic candidates for the party’s presidential nomination in 2020.
However, there may be a bit of an ethical hurdle for Warren to clear prior to making a challenge for the Democrat nomination, as she has come under federal scrutiny for allegedly fundraising illicitly off her publicly stated opposition to the confirmation of then-Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
That was actually news that Warren was hearing for the first time during a final debate Tuesday against her Republican challenger, State Rep. Geoff Diehl, who raised the issue himself, and Warren’s bewilderment at the news drew an audible gasp from some in the audience.
The Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust (FACT) filed a complaint Oct. 29 with the Senate Select Committee on Ethics which accused both Sens. Warren and Kamala Harris of California of “violating the Senate Ethics prohibition against linking a promise of official action to a solicitation of campaign contributions.”
During the debate, Diehl said, “And one other thing that really, we found out recently, I think is pretty unconscionable, is the fact that Senator Warren was fundraising illegally using the vote on Justice Kavanaugh, the confirmation vote, to try to raise money for her campaign.”
“That just came out,” he continued. “Ya know, that’s something you should not be doing, first of all, while we are having a national discussion about the Supreme Court, is trying to fundraise off of it, but you did, and turns out, it’s illegal.”
A confused Warren distinctly avoided what Diehl had just said and proceeded to attack him for not speaking out against President Donald Trump or his fellow Republicans on certain occasions related to Kavanaugh.
Diehl replied, “That’s because, Senator Warren, I don’t look for every opportunity to try to grandstand … but the fact of the matter is, that was such an intense moment in our country’s history, as far as trying to deal with presumption of innocence — the cornerstone of our legal system — and you were willing to throw it right out the window because you were part of the Senate Democrats who were trying to score political points by using poor Dr. Ford’s testimony as a way to drag down a man without any corroborating evidence.”
Warren attempted to resume her attack on Diehl for not calling out Trump on certain things, but a moderator interrupted so he could “drill down” on the ethical violation referenced by Diehl about illegally fundraising off her planned vote against Kavanaugh’s nomination, and asked Warren directly, “Did you or did you not do that?”
“Actually, I don’t know, and I don’t know what …,” Warren replied, to audible gasps from the audience, prior to being cut short by a brief discussion among the moderators about the ethics complaint.
“Yes, there’s an ethics complaint that has been filed about a fundraising email,” one of the moderators said.
With a somewhat dumbstruck look on her face, Warren replied, “Then I will, I will check into it, but I don’t know.”
Following the debate, Diehl was asked by a local reporter if he was aware that Warren had claimed to be unaware of the ethics violation complaint lodged against her. He replied, “Well, that was a surprise to me. I think it made national news earlier in the day, I don’t know why she wouldn’t know it tonight.”
Despite the possible ethical violation by Warren, she faces little danger of being removed from office by voters in the upcoming election, as RealClearPolitics has Warren’s Senate seat listed as “safe” for Democrats and she holds a comfortable 20-30 point lead in most polls.
Regardless, the ethical violation and other genealogical blunders she has made could prove incredibly cumbersome to her once-promising political ambitions going forward, a reality shift that likely has both the senator and her supporters feeling as dumbfounded as she looked on the debate stage.
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