The Federal Election Commission (FEC) has declined a proposal by Democrat Commissioner Ellen Weintraub to undertake new rulemaking regarding alleged foreign influence in the 2016 election to target conservative media including the Drudge Report and Breitbart News, stating 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 FEC has declined to consider new rulemaking over alleged foreign influence in the 2016 presidential election that could target conservative media including InfoWars and Breitbart News. In a statement released by Vice Chair Caroline Hunter and Commissioners Lee Goodman and Matthew Petersen, the members state they “cannot support proposals that would burden the free speech rights of American citizens based on incomplete information about foreign activities in the 2016 election.”
They further describe Weintraub’s proposal as one that would “‘blunt’ the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizen’s United.” In the opinion of three members who wrote 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.”
The statement was released by the three Republicans serving as FEC commissioners. Weintraub and Democrat Steven Walther are the other two current members, meaning there is at least a 3-2 majority in the Republicans favor on this issue.
The FEC commissioners acknowledge in their statement that a number of government agencies are currently investigating alleged foreign interference, and address the FEC’s role, specifically noting the importance of not taking a position of political bias:
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.
At least in the case of the FEC, leftists seem to be back to square one in their efforts to shut down conservative media.
Read their entire statement below:
Colin Madine is a contributor and editor at Breitbart News and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org