CUMMINGS AND NADLER INVESTIGATE POTENTIAL CAMPAIGN LAW VIOLATIONS BY CAMBRIDGE ANALYTICA
Today, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, the Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and Rep. Jerrold Nadler, the Ranking Member of the House Committee on the Judiciary, sent a letter requesting information about a recent report that Cambridge Analytica may have violated U.S. election regulations that prohibit high-level strategy or analysis work by foreign nationals in U.S. political campaigns.
“If true, these activities appear to violate a Federal Election Commission regulation that prohibits the participation of foreign nationals in ‘decisions involving election-related activities,’” the Ranking Members wrote.
Yesterday, the Washington Post reported that three former employees of the firm stated that “Cambridge Analytica assigned dozens of non-U.S. citizens to provide campaign strategy and messaging advice to Republican candidates in 2014.” In 2014, Cambridge Analytica reportedly was “overwhelmingly staffed by non U.S. citizens.” At least 20 employees worked in the United States on legislative and congressional campaigns and had involvement in “helping to decide what voters to target with political messages and what messages to deliver to them.”
Cummings and Nadler explained in today’s letter that the firm reportedly was provided with a 10-page memorandum by an attorney that cited the FEC regulation and elaborated on the restrictions on foreign nationals’ participation in U.S. elections. The memorandum reportedly advised that “foreign nationals could serve in minor roles—for example as ‘functionaries’ handling data—but could not involve themselves in significant campaign decisions or provide high-level analysis or strategy.”
“Despite these warnings, the firm reportedly gave its foreign national employees inaccurate immigration documents ‘showing that they were not there to work when they had arrived for the purpose of advising campaigns,’” the Ranking Members wrote.
Cummings and Nadler requested that the company provide, by April 10, 2018, documents and communications regarding whether violations were committed and, if so, who was aware of them.
Click here to read today’s letter.