Democratic Rhode Island Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse did not have a response when asked about the dark money scandal engulfing Democratic New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the liberal political action committee Justice Democrats.
A report Monday from The Daily Caller News Foundation detailed Ocasio-Cortez’s relationship with the organization, which is dedicated to electing socialist Democrats to Congress. The report stated that the freshman congresswoman and her chief of staff, Saikat Chakrabart, obtained majority control of the PAC in December 2017, which former FEC commissioners said may have opened the pair up to significant campaign finance violations.
On Thursday, Whitehouse claimed he had not read about the reported violations. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Democrat Senator Hopes Liberal Dark Money Groups Donate To His Campaign)
“I don’t,” Whitehouse said when asked if he had any thoughts on the allegations. “In fact, I’m just seeing it for the first time.”
Whitehouse was then handed a piece of paper that presumably detailed the allegations, which the senator promised to look over before the elevator doors shut. Whitehouse was recently re-elected for a third term in the Senate, and has made opposition to “dark money” in politics a centerpiece of his career.(RELATED: McConnell Mocks HR 1 As ‘Parade Of Horrible’)
A member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Whitehouse announced his opposition to last year’s Supreme Court nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh before confirmation hearings even began, largely due to his strong opposition to money in politics and the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizen’s United decision.
“Mr. Kavanaugh spent his professional career serving corporate and Republican interests. There is virtually no transparency into the dark money forces now campaigning for his confirmation,” Whitehouse said at the time. “After all this, he has a long way to convince me that unions, consumers, injured workers, vulnerable communities, or victims of pollution will get fair treatment from him.”