Watchdog Calls for Investigation into Sen. Raphael Warnock (GA) for Ethics Violation
Updated: Feb 4, 2022
Evidence Shows Sen. Warnock Used Official Resources for Political Purposes
Washington, D.C.— August 5, 2021— The non-partisan ethics watchdog, the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust (FACT), filed a complaint requesting the Senate Select Committee on Ethics investigate Sen. Raphael Warnock for violating the Senate ethics prohibition on soliciting campaign contributions linked to official Senate action.
On July 24, 2021, Senator Warnock sent an email personally and urgently requesting recipients to sign a petition for additional legislative action involving federal voting rights. At the end of the email, Warnock included a direct solicitation for campaign donations.
Senators are required to conduct themselves in accordance with Senate Ethics rules, which prohibit Senators from soliciting campaign contributions tied to any action taken in their official capacity. Warnock's email directly linked official acts, both past and future, with a request for their information and for campaign donations. By employing this type of fundraising tactic, Warnock is tying issues currently being considered by the Senate together with campaign donations, which is exactly what the ethics rules prohibit. This type of fundraising tactic wrongly incentivizes Senators to take positions based on what they can potentially raise for their campaigns and not on the merits of the issues.
"The Senate Ethics rules hold members to a high standard to maintain the public trust in our elected officials. One rule specifically bars Senators from combining official actions with solicitations for campaign donations--which Senator Warnock's email clearly did. This ethics rule is designed to avoid even the appearance that donating to a Senator could result in a certain vote being cast. I encourage the Senate Select Committee on Ethics to immediately investigate and issue any appropriate penalties,” said Kendra Arnold, Executive Director of FACT.
A full copy of the complaint can be found by clicking here.
FACT is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting accountability, ethics, and transparency in government and civic arenas. For more on FACT, visit: http://www.factdc.org/