Ellen Weintraub, a controversial Democratic commissioner at the Federal Election Commission, has taken more than 30 foreign trips since joining the commission despite warning against foreign influence in state and federal elections.
In Weintraub's quest to combat foreign influence, the commissioner has submitted a plan that could potentially target conservative media outlets that take political advertising, such as the Drudge Report. The plan put forth by Weintraub, which will be discussed Thursday, could lead to subpoenas targeting news websites, the owners of the sites, and their editorial news decisions, experts told the Washington Examiner.
"I believe that this Commission can indeed rise to the challenge of understanding what happened in the 2016 election and plugging any legal or procedural holes that could allow foreign actors to interfere with our future elections," Weintraub said.
Despite the Weintraub’s concern of foreign influence, she has taken more than 30 foreign trips that were funded by a combination of foreign groups and governments and by the American taxpayer, according to the Daily Caller. Weintraub's trips included a $9,000 week-long junket to Indonesia. On another trip, Weintraub dined with Socialist leaders in Albania. Weintraub has taken trips to Mexico, El Salvador, the Philippines, and Honduras.
Steven Walther, the Democratic chairman of the commission, has taken 11 foreign trips while on the commission. Walther has gone to places such as Russia and Moldova.
Ann Ravel, another controversial Democratic commissioner that pushed to regulate the internet, and who resigned in February, took nine foreign trips while with the FEC.
In the months leading up to her resignation, Ravel was a no-show on the commission after being passed over for the attorney general spot in California. Despite this, Ravel attempted to call a special meeting in an attempt to gain approval for another foreign-junket. However, Ravel withdrew her request after being contacted by the Washington Free Beacon for comment. The trip was scheduled the week she announced her resignation.
Republicans on the commission have not taken any foreign trips.