Federal Election Commission (FEC) chief Ellen Weintraub on Friday publicly warned that accepting any kind of “opposition research” from a foreign national or government would be considered illegal under U.S. elections law.
“The law is pretty clear,” Weintraub said during an appearance on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”
“It is absolutely illegal for anyone to solicit, accept or receive anything of value from a foreign national in connection with any election in the United States,” she said, comments which followed President Trump’s public call on Thursday for China and Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, one of the current front-runners for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.
“I don’t want to comment on the specifics,” she added of Trump’s call for foreign governments to investigate Biden. “I’m just here to explain the law. That’s part of my job, and I think this is a moment in America where it’s really important that the American people understand what the law is.”
"The law is pretty clear, Willie: It is absolutely illegal for anyone to solicit, accept or receive anything of value from a foreign national in connection with any election in the United States." — @EllenLWeintraub to @WillieGeist pic.twitter.com/MAdSfPBhHo
— Morning Joe (@Morning_Joe) October 4, 2019
In a post on Twitter Thursday, Weintraub resurfaced a June memorandum stating that it is illegal for anyone running for public office to solicit help from a foreign national after Trump suggested that he would accept dirt on his political opponent from a foreign source.
“There’s nothing wrong with listening,” Trump told ABC News at the time. “It’s not an interference. They have information. I think I’d take it. If I thought there was something wrong, I’d go maybe to the FBI.”
Is this thing on? 🎙 https://t.co/K6phZRex8k
— Ellen L Weintraub (@EllenLWeintraub) October 3, 2019