Warren Caught Off Guard by Ethics Complaint During Debate

Senator Elizabeth Warren (D, Mass.) arrives for a procedural vote on the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., October 5, 2018. (Yuri Gripas/Reuters)

Senator Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) was caught off guard during her debate Tuesday with Republican challenger Geoff Diehl when he accused Warren of “illegally” using her vote against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to raise campaign funds.

Warren at first tried to avoid the question, but when pressed by debate moderators she admitted she did not know what Diehl was referencing.

“Actually, I don’t know,” she said. “I will check into it, but I don’t know.”

The ethics complaint Diehl was referring to, filed by the conservative Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust, centers around a fundraising email Warren sent out urging supporters to sign a petition asking the Senate to delay the confirmation vote on Kavanaugh so the Senate would have more time to investigate sexual-assault allegations against him.

The email included an encouragement to donate to Warren’s reelection campaign and a “Donate Now” button.

FACT claims Warren violated Senate ethics rules by blurring the line between her no vote on Kavanaugh and fundraising efforts, and has called for an ethics investigation to be initiated.

“This is a clear violation of Senate Ethics rules which safeguard against the appearance or actuality of elected officials ‘cashing in’ on their official position for political purposes,” FACT executive director Kendra Arnold said in a press release Monday.

Warren later called the complaint “frivolous” and said that FACT is “one of these shadowy dark money groups,” noting that the group is not required to disclose its donors.

The group included California Senator Kamala Harris in its complaint as well, accusing her of fundraising off her vote to decline Kavanaugh a Supreme Court seat.

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