Democrats are relying on a dark money group to stymie Republican investigations into President Joe Biden and his son Hunter.
The Congressional Integrity Project will provide the Biden White House and congressional Democrats with poll data, political ads, and opposition research on Republicans leading investigations into the Biden family, CNN reported. House Republicans have made clear their intention to investigate the Biden family’s business dealings, the president’s handling of classified documents, the border crisis, and federal mismanagement of the coronavirus relief program.
Democrats’ collusion with the Congressional Integrity Project contradicts party leaders’ insistence that dark money has undue influence on Washington, D.C. For example, Rep. Eric Swalwell (D., Calif.), who took part in a press call with the Congressional Integrity Project this week, lamented in 2018 that "a flood of dark money is poisoning our democracy, letting deep-pocketed special interests prevent Congress from acting even on issues upon which we agree." Biden has asserted that "dark money erodes public trust."
The Congressional Integrity Project, which launched in 2020, does not disclose the identity of its ultimate donors, though tax filings show it receives virtually all of its money from the Sixteen Thirty Fund, a left-wing group dubbed the "indisputable heavyweight of Democratic dark money."
The Sixteen Thirty Fund has given $1.5 million to the Congressional Integrity Project since 2020, according to tax forms detailed by the Washington Examiner last year. The Congressional Integrity Project has reported that same amount in revenues, according to tax filings reviewed by the Washington Free Beacon.
The Sixteen Thirty Fund also does not disclose its donors, though some of its backers have gone public with their support for the group. The billionaire Democratic donor George Soros has disclosed contributions of $24,930,000 to the Sixteen Thirty Fund in 2021 alone, according to its grants database.
While the Congressional Integrity Project is opaque about its funding sources, it is transparent about its goal of undermining Republican investigations.
Brad Woodhouse, a veteran Democratic strategist and senior adviser for the group, said last year they "will exploit every tactic available" to hinder the Republican probes. "It’s not enough to wait and see what they’re going to do and how far they’re going to go." Woodhouse, who attended a White House meeting with a group of Democratic operatives in September, recently told CNN that the group’s role is "to go on offense" against Republicans.
The Congressional Integrity Project has released a litany of press releases and research reports in recent weeks that paint Reps. James Comer (R., Ky.) and Jim Jordan (R., Ohio) as hypocrites on the issues on which they will investigate Biden.
Comer, the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, is investigating Biden’s family business dealings, with a focus on Hunter Biden’s activities in China. He is also investigating the federal government’s coronavirus relief program, which reportedly disbursed billions of dollars in fraudulent federal loans. Jordan, who chairs the House Judiciary Committee, is turning his attention to the Biden administration’s handling of the border crisis. He has also sought records from the Justice Department on Biden’s handling of classified documents.
An example of the Congressional Integrity Project’s opposition research came this week in a hit piece on Comer. The group accused Comer of hypocrisy in his investigation of billions of dollars in fraudulent coronavirus relief payments, because the congressman’s brother received a $12,000 loan under the pandemic-era Paycheck Protection Program. While Comer’s brother is not accused of misusing the loan, the Congressional Integrity Project claimed without evidence that Comer had "padded his brother’s pockets."
While Republicans have scrutinized fraud in the Paycheck Protection Program, they have also said that the program was needed because of government-mandated lockdowns of businesses during the pandemic.
The Congressional Integrity Project, the White House, and Swalwell’s office did not respond to requests for comment.