House and Senate Republican staff members on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee and House Government Oversight Committee say they will be more than happy to open investigations into White House and Democrat party charges of foreign financial influence in the U.S. election process if they win back majorities in Congress this November.
"Given that we know that President Obama's presidential election campaign received millions of dollars and possibly tens of millions of dollars in foreign donations, and that a number of union-funded organizations received foreign contributions during the 2008 and 2010 election cycles, and that MoveOn.org has perhaps received millions in foreign contributions, not to mention the possibility that the Center for American Progress has foreign donors, we can see where the American people might be concerned that these entities not have the opportunity in the 2012 election cycle to tap into such resources," says a Senate Republican staffer with ties to the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee's Permanent Committee on Investigations. "And since our Democratic colleagues chose to ignore all of this, then perhaps we should revisit them."
Should Republicans regain control of the House and/or Senate, they would be in a position to open investigations and hold hearings similar to the ones held back in the 1990s, when it was revealed that the Clinton White House, with Vice President Al Gore as the point person, sought illegal campaign contributions from individuals with ties to the communist Chinese and other Asian countries. Those investigations led to criminal charges and several Democrat fundraisers spending time behind bars for their illegal activities.
"Most media reports now say that these Democratic charges are baseless, but we've been wanting to look at where all these left-wing Democrat groups that are so active on the policy front at the EPA, FCC, and elsewhere get their money. I'm sure that a Republican House Oversight chairman would be happy to hold such hearings," says a House Oversight Republican staffer.
Just how much hard data such investigations and hearings might render is unclear. Leftist groups like MoveOn, the Center for American Progress, and Free Press are legally protected from revealing their donor lists. Some groups at times have revealed the names of some major underwriters.
California Rep. Darrell Issa is in line to become the chair of the House oversight committee, while Sen. Tom Coburn could possibly lead the Senate investigations subcommittee.