The spokesman for Representative Dana Rohrabacher (R-Putin's Suppository) says his boss pledged to return a $1,000 campaign donation from Paul Manafort—if the indicted former Trump-campaign chairman is ultimately found guilty of money laundering and other crimes alleged in a federal indictment released on Oct. 30. "Be assured that is his position," Ken Grubbs, The Mouth That Rohrabachered's mouthpiece, told the Washington Examiner.
Manafort, who had also given the Spliffin' Congressman a grand in 1997, made a more recent contribution three days after they had dinner at the Capitol Hill Club in March 2013. Manafort's lobbying firm represented a pro-Russian political party, the Ukrainian Party of Regions, and its leader, former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych. Rohrabacher went on to oppose an aid package to the government that replaced Yanukovych's.
Neuroscientist Hans Keirstead, a stem cell researcher and entrepreneur from Laguna Beach, was the first of seven Democrats aiming to replace Rohrabacher in November 2018 to demand the congressman return the Manafort money. "We've got a Russian-tainted congressman taking Russian-tainted money from Manafort," Keirstead says. "Something has to be put straight here."
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His demand was echoed by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC). "Congressman Dana Rohrabacher's blatant disregard for our country's national security and his unsavory associations with MVPs of the Washington Swamp like indicted Paul Manafort call into question his judgment and his fitness to serve," says DCCC spokesman Drew Godinich.
The call to return Manafort donations is also being made by a Democratic challenger to another veteran Orange County GOP congressman. Dr. Mai-Khahn Tran says Manafort and the Mercury lobbying firm that also turns up in the Mueller indictment gave Representative Ed Royce (R-Brea) nearly $10,000 in 2013 campaign donations on behalf of Yanukovych. "As the chair of the Foreign Relations Committee, Ed Royce took money from a lobbying firm advocating on behalf of a Ukrainian pro-Russia group while there was pending legislation in front of his committee," Tran says. "The blatant lack of transparency and conflict of interest in this case is outrageous, and his willingness to put his own campaign donations in front of the good of the country speaks volumes about Ed Royce's priorities."
Royce's powerful panel recently curtailed Rohrabacher's chairmanship of the Europe subcommittee because of his troubling ties to Russia and Vladimir Putin. Godinich says Rohrabacher needs to step down as chairman.
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