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President Trump speaks to the media on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Thursday, Oct. 3, 2019, before boarding Marine One for a short trip to Andrews Air Force Base, Md., and then on to Florida.

President Trump speaks to the media on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Thursday, Oct. 3, 2019, before boarding Marine One for a short trip to Andrews Air Force Base, Md., and then on to Florida. (Pjoto: Andrew Harnik/AP)

'Is This Thing On?': FEC Chair Forced to Remind Trump (Again) That It Is 'Illegal' to Solicit Election Help From Foreign Governments

"Oh, it's on—but someone isn't listening or can't read (or both)."

Eoin Higgins

Ellen Weintraub, the chair of the Federal Election Commission, took to Twitter Thursday afternoon to muse over whether or not President Donald Trump understands that soliciting or accepting foreign assistance during an election is against the law.

"Is this thing on?" Weintraub wondered, linking to a tweet she made in June drawing attention to the fact that it is illegal for any American—a political candidate, a regular citizen, or even the U.S. president—to solicit or accept "anything of value from a foreign national in connection with a U.S. election."

"Oh, it's on," tweeted journalist John Heilemann in response to Weintraub, "but someone isn't listening or can't read (or both)."

During remarks to the press outside the White House Thursday morning, as Common Dreams reported earlier, the president offered no evidence as he publicly accused former Vice President Joe Biden of corruption but nonetheless asked the governments of both China and Ukraine to investigate his allegations. 

"Let's be very clear what’s happening here: Trump is openly asking foreign governments to interfere in the 2020 presidential election against his political rivals," said journalist Ari Berman. "And Republicans are allowing it to happen by doing nothing about impeachment or election security."

The FEC has not met since August due to a lack of quorum and the disinterest of President Donald Trump in filling the panel's empty seat, as Common Dreams reported at the time, legal watchdogs warned that leaving the commission so toothless just as the 2020 presidential campaign ramped up was courting "disaster."

Despite diminished enforcement capacity or the ability to even to hold meetings, the commission chair is able to draw attention to the letter of the law.


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EPA Urged to 'Finish the Job' After Latest Move to Protect Bristol Bay From Pebble Mine

"Local residents, scientists, and the broader public all agree that this is quite simply a bad place for a mine, and it is past time for the EPA to take Pebble off the table permanently," said one activist in Alaska.

Jessica Corbett ·


'Zero Tolerance for Corruption': Grijalva, Porter Demand Answers on Alleged Trump Pardon Bribery Scheme

The Democrats believe a real estate developer donated to a Trump-aligned super PAC in exchange for the pardons of two other men.

Julia Conley ·


Millions of Americans Lack Adequate Health Coverage, But the Pentagon Has a New Nuclear Bomber to Flaunt

"This ominous death machine, with its price tag of $750 million a pop, brings huge profits to Northrop Grumman but takes our society one more step down the road of spiritual death," peace activist Medea Benjamin said of the new B-21 Raider.

Brett Wilkins ·


Betrayal of Railway Workers Ignites Working-Class Fury Toward Biden and Democrats

"Politicians are happy to voice platitudes and heap praise upon us for our heroism throughout the pandemic," said one rail leader. "Yet when the steel hits the rail, they back the powerful and wealthy Class 1 rail carriers every time."

Jessica Corbett ·


With GOP House Control Looming, Pascrell Calls for Swift Release of Trump Tax Records

"Donald Trump tried to hide his tax returns from our oversight but after 1,329 days we have finally obtained the documents," said the New Jersey Democrat. "We should review and release them."

Kenny Stancil ·

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