GOP lawmaker requests FEC watchdog investigate chair's 'political' statements

The top Republican on the House Committee on House Administration the Federal Election Commission’s (FEC) inspector general on Thursday to investigate the agency’s leader for allegedly using her position to publicly disparage President Trump, including making multiple media appearances in which she referred to the president as a danger to democracy.

The request by Rodney Davis, R-Ill. was outlined in a 4-page memo to FEC Inspector General Christopher L. Skinner. In it, Davis chastised FEC Chair Ellen L. Weintraub for using government time and resources for “ideological, and at times, political, purposes.” He recounted four instances where Weintraub had used FEC resources to publish her personal opinions on President Trump.

In a February 2017 statement issued on FEC letterhead, Weintraub requested the president show evidence of “alleged voter fraud in New Hampshire,” a reference to Trump’s claim that illegal voting had cost him the state’s four electoral votes in the 2016 presidential election. In a March follow-up letter, Weintraub reiterated that request.

In May 2017, Weintraub wrote a statement, again on FEC letterhead, rebuking Trump for his creation of an Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, saying: “Mr. President, take responsibility for your words. Document them if you can. Apologize to them if you have to. But don’t ship them off to a commission.”

FEC CHAIR: TRUMP IS ‘DAMAGING TO OUR DEMOCRACY’ WITH ‘BASELESS’ VOTER FRAUD ALLEGATIONS

Weintraub wrote a second letter to Trump about his New Hampshire voter fraud claims in August 2019 in a tone Davis described as “partisan snark.”

“To put it in terms a former casino operator should understand: There comes a time when you need to lay your cards on the fable or fold,” she wrote.

The letter was not hosted on the FEC website, but was drafted with the agency’s letterhead and appeared on Weintraub’s Twitter feed, according to Davis.

Davis also criticized Weintraub for appearances on CNN and MSNBC to “discuss matters outside the purview of the FEC.” On at least two occasions, Weintraub dismissed Trump’s claims as “conspiracy theories” that are “damaging to our democracy.”

Davis argued that Weintraub had violated the FEC’s nonpartisan position by failing to indicate “in any interview that she was speaking as a private citizen and not as Chair of the nonpartisan FEC.”

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Because of her ostensible bias against President Trump, Weintraub “should publicly admit her political differences with the President, disclose her conflict of interest, and at the very least, recuse herself from voting on Matters Under Review involving the President,” Davis wrote.

Responding to Davis’ memo via Twitter, Weintraub wrote she would “not be silenced” and that the “independence of the United States Federal Election Commission will not be compromised.”

Weintraub did not respond to Fox News’ request for comment.