Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-MA, was visibly stunned on Tuesday night when she first learned during a debate that an ethics complaint had been filed against her.
Diehl argued that Warren likely broke the law by sending out fundraising emails during the hearings. “Senator Warren was fundraising illegally using the vote on Justice Kavanaugh, the confirmation vote, to try to raise money for her campaigns,” Diehl said.
Warren maintained a blank look on her face when Diehl mentioned the complaint, and attempted to side-step the issue by claiming Diehl didn’t criticize President Donald Trump over his remarks about Christine Blasey Ford, one of the women who levied uncorroborated allegations against Kavanaugh.
While Warren tried to change the topic, all three debate moderates refused to let the Democrat Senator off the hook.
“I would like to drill down on what Representative Diehl said,” one moderator said. “A complaint was recently filed,” another moderator said.
The male moderator asked: “The fundraising while the vote was being taken on the Kavanaugh hearing – did you or did you not do that?”
“Actually, I don’t know,” Warren said, looking completely bewildered and stunned.
“Yes, an ethics complaint has been filed about a fundraising email,” another moderator said.
“Then, then I will, I will check into it, but I don’t know,” Warren said, visibly flustered.
Watch the exchange below, with the moment occurring around the 1:40 moment:
On Monday, the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust filed a complaint against Warren with the Senate Select Committee on Ethics.
The complaint alleges that Democrat Sens. Warren and Kamala Harris of California violated “the Senate Ethics prohibition against linking a promise of official action to a solicitation of campaign contributions.”
Below is a portion of the complaint:
Senators Warren and Harris sent campaign fundraising emails based upon their official actions during the confirmation process and upcoming vote of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. Senator Warren’s fundraising email stated her position on the ongoing hearing and “demand to delay the confirmation vote.” The email then states: “Elizabeth Warren is running for reelection in 2018 . . DONATE NOW.” Senator Harris sent numerous emails fundraising based upon her official duties. For instance, one of Harris’s fundraising emails stated she “question[ed] Judge Kavanaugh during his Supreme Court confirmation hearings” and indicates her position on the confirmation. Then she requested a contribution with a “CONTRIBUTE” button. Both Senators’ emails were sent during the confirmation process and before the Senators were to vote, and their requested campaign donations were intertwined with their official duties as Senators.
Following the debate, Diehl spoke about the ethics complaint, saying, “It made national news earlier in the day. I don’t know why [Warren] wouldn’t know it tonight.”