Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) is under investigation for an ethics complaint, but apparently, someone forgot to tell her that.
The senator participated in a debate against her Republican opponent Geoff Diehl, who noted that Warren was under investigation for an ethics complaint related to her fundraising emails during the hearing for Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
During Kavanaugh’s hearing, Warren asked for donations while explaining her vote against the judge, making it appear that she was asking for donations in return for her vote.
In the complaint, a nonprofit group called the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust (FACT) listed both Warren and Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), stating:
“Senators should not take action or use official resources in exchange for personal political gain. The public rightly expects its Senators to exercise impartial judgment in performing their duties, completely independent of the prospect of personal political gain. With this fundraising tactic, Senators Warren and Harris indicate to potential contributors that their votes can be influenced by campaign contributions.”
While there has not been a conclusion to the investigation yet, Warren claimed that she didn’t even know the investigation was happening. After Diehl brought up the allegations, the senator dodged the question by criticizing her opponent, but the moderators didn’t let it slide.
Moderator 1: Actually, I would like to drill down on what Rep. Diehl said. The fundraising while the vote was being taken on the Kavanaugh hearing, did you or did you not do that?
Sen. Warren: Actually, I don’t know and I’ll have to look.
Moderator 1: Isn’t there an ethics committee complaint?
Moderator 2: Yeah. There’s an ethics complaint that’s been filed about a fundraising email.
Sen. Warren: Then I will check into it, but I don’t know.
Several people were confused as to how it was possible that Warren had no clue she was under investigation. Comedian Tim Young added some hilarious edits to the video, highlighting Warren’s shock.
Watch: Elizabeth Warren learns about her fundraising ethics complaint during a live debate…
PS – I edited her dodging the question to make it a bit more fun. pic.twitter.com/PbaWkcvlMH
— Tim Young (@TimRunsHisMouth) November 1, 2018
Following the debate, Warren dismissed the complaint as “frivolous”, and FACT hit right back in a statement to IJR:
“Senator Elizabeth Warren’s characterization of her ethics violation as ‘frivolous’ is simply wrong and is a desperate attempt to make it go away. The bottom line is she knowingly used the Kavanaugh confirmation hearings to fundraise for her re-election campaign and has refused to take responsibility for her illegal actions. Elected officials shouldn’t get to decide what laws they want to follow or ignore and that is why we are asking the Senate Ethics Committee to fully investigate this matter and hold Senator Warren accountable for her actions. It’s easy to launch attacks and ignore the issue. It’s much harder to answer the question and deal with the facts, she can’t do either successfully.”
While Diehl may have shocked Warren by bringing up the investigation, it is unlikely that this gaffe on behalf of the senator will impact the election. Sen. Warren has a massive lead over Diehl.
Editor’s Note: This article was updated for clarity after publication.