Last week, Democrats on the Federal Elections Commission challenged the rights protected under the First Amendment by outlets like Breitbart, the Drudge Report and Infowars by calling for an investigation into their “editorial decisions,’ but the FEC shot it down.
The Washington Examiner reported, “In her effort targeting foreign influence in federal and state elections, Commissioner Ellen Weintraub would probe spending by overseas sources and even partially-foreign-owned U.S. firms on campaigns, including their media buys. Foreign influence is illegal in elections.”
In her proposal, she wrote, “the American public is justifiably alarmed by the reports of foreign attempts to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election.” She added, “This is an all-hands-on-deck moment for our democracy.”
“It is this Commission’s duty to do respond, and to respond forcefully. Whether a hostile foreign power provided anything of value in connection with a federal, state, or local election goes to the very heart of the Federal Election Commission’s mission and jurisdiction,” the proposal continued.
“It’s pretty easy to see how this quickly becomes an inquisition into conservative media outlets,” an elections laws expert and critic of the Weintraub bid told the Washington Examiner.
“Commissioner Weintraub appears to be laying the groundwork to subpoena people at Breitbart, Drudge, and Infowars – maybe even Matt Drudge and Alex Jones themselves,” he added.
Below is her letter.
Kit Daniels of InfoWars said, “The FEC plan has two objectives: kill competition to the mainstream, anti-Trump media and provide a convenient – albeit fake – excuse as to why Hillary Clinton lost the 2016 election that absolves establishment Democrats of blame.”
Here is InfoWars video report on that news.
The FEC issued a statement in which they declined the proposal to investigate alternative media outlets saying that it “cannot support proposals that would burden the free speech rights of American citizens based on incomplete information about foreign activities in the 2016 election.”
The statement came from the three Republican FEC Commissioners, Vice Chair Caroline Hunter and Commissioners Lee Goodman and Matthew Petersen
According to the statement there is no information currently showing that the FEC’s existing rules that prohibit foreign involvement in U.S. elections are “inadequate to detect, enforce, and punish violations,” and that Weintraub’s proposal would “blunt” the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizen’s United.
Though they declined to pursue an investigation, they did acknowledge that other government agencies are investigating allegations of foreign interference in US elections, and then added:
The Federal Election Commission should cooperate with these other agencies while maintaining necessary confidentiality and decorum in our own processes. We must resist any efforts to politicize or compromise the integrity of this agency’s enforcement process or the investigations of other agencies, for the subject matter at issue implicates profoundly important national security and foreign policy interests of the United States.
Good for the FEC! It’s amazing that these people only want to go after those who are opposed to their views. Notice that no actual socialist, communist, Marxist nor other criminally minded outlets were addressed.
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