FEC chairwoman confirms accepting 'opposition research' from foreign national is illegal

Federal Election Commission (FEC) chief Ellen Weintraub on Friday stated firmly that accepting any kind of "opposition research" from a foreign national or government would be considered illegal under U.S. elections law.

In an appearance on MSNBC's "Morning Joe," Weintraub said that the law was clear on accepting aid from foreign governments during an election, comments which followed President TrumpDonald John TrumpCuomo grilled by brother about running for president: 'No. no' Maxine Waters unleashes over Trump COVID-19 response: 'Stop congratulating yourself! You're a failure' Meadows resigns from Congress, heads to White House MORE's public call for China and Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenCuomo grilled by brother about running for president: 'No. no' Top Democratic super PACs team up to boost Biden The Hill's Campaign Report: Trump, Biden spar over coronavirus response MORE, one of the current front-runners for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.

ADVERTISEMENT

"The law is pretty clear,” Weintraub said to co-host Willie Geist. “It is absolutely illegal for anyone to solicit, accept or receive anything of value from a foreign national in connection with any election in the United States."

"I don't want to comment on the specifics," she added of Trump's call for Biden to be investigated by foreign governments. "I'm just here to explain the law. That's part of my job, and I think this is a moment in America where it's really important that the American people understand what the law is."

Weintraub's comments follow Trump's own calls for foreign assistance in investigating Biden as well as the president and GOP accusations concerning the Clinton campaign's 2016 alleged contacts with Ukrainian officials to receive opposition research on the Trump campaign.

The FEC chief has weighed in on social media in the past on statements made by Trump, including earlier this year when Trump suggested that he would accept dirt on his political opponent from a foreign source.

"There’s nothing wrong with listening," Trump said at the time. "It’s not an interference. They have information. I think I’d take it. If I thought there was something wrong, I’d go maybe to the FBI."

"Is this thing on?" Weintraub tweeted at the time.