FACT: The Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust’s ethics complaint is a political stunt from a conservative front group.
A partisan, conservative front group funded by the Koch network filed a baseless complaint against Senator Warren.
The Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust (FACT) filed an ethics complaint against Senator Warren over a mass email sent to her supporters with a petition, asking people to show their support for delaying a vote to confirm Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh after Dr. Christine Blasey Ford came forward with serious allegations of sexual abuse.
Anyone can file a complaint with the Senate Ethics Committee. FACT regularly files such complaints against Democrats. This complaint is without merit.
While FACT alleges that the email linked a promise of official action to a solicitation for campaign contributions, the text of the email itself contradicts that allegation. It made no promises of any action on Senator Warren’s part. It’s laughable to accuse Senator Warren of exchanging any promise of action for donations when she had already announced her opposition to Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination over two months before the email in question was sent.
FACT — the group filing the ethics complaint — is a conservative hit factory. It was explicitly founded as a partisan “conservative counterweight” to existing, credible government watchdog groups and overwhelmingly went after Democrats. It was initially backed by $1 million in seed money from conservative donors. Since then, it’s been almost exclusively funded by the Koch-connected dark money fund, Donors Trust, to the tune of $2.5 million.
It’s no surprise that the organization’s first executive director and president, Matthew Whitaker, was appointed as the acting Attorney General as part of President Trump’s desperate attempt to hamstring the Mueller investigation. Running FACT doesn’t qualify you to be the Attorney General, but it was awfully lucrative for Whitaker – who was paid over $1.2 million during his tenure for pushing these kinds of baseless, partisan complaints. Whitaker’s salary made up nearly 30% of FACT’s total revenue; during that time, the organization had no other staff.
FACT is also heavily connected to the right-wing media machine. It shares staff with the shady, secretive Judicial Crisis Network, which has spent millions to fight for conservative legal causes, including smearing President Obama’s Supreme Court nominees, trying to buy judicial elections, and helping confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. While the legal status of FACT allows it to hide most of its activities from the public, In its extremely limited public filings, FACT disclosed that it works with the Republican firms America Rising and Creative Response Concepts Public Relations (CRC). America Rising explicitly states that its mission is to defeat Democrats and has publicly touted its partisan crusade against Senator Warren. CRC was “best known” for its work on the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth smear campaign against Senator John Kerry and was the “go-to communications firm” for conservative causes.
Here is the complaint: https://docs.wixstatic.com/ugd/65db76_79af4577bdb54673b9e98b5c9a4b70ae.pdf