It’s not getting much attention in the flood of news stories about the House Republicans’ health care proposal, but a poll out today offers new evidence that Americans are mightily concerned about Russia’s hacking into our elections and possible ties between that effort and the Trump administration.
The Politico/Morning Consult survey found 56 percent of registered voters support appointment of a special prosecutor to oversee investigations of possible ties between President Trump’s campaign staff and the Russian government. Only 30 percent were opposed.
Support for the independent counsel is strongest among Democrats, with three out of every four in favor, Politico reported, but 39 percent of Republicans and 54 percent of independents also back a special prosecutor.
The poll of 1,992 registered voters was conducted last Thursday through Monday, just after Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from any Justice Department investigations involving the Trump campaign. Sessions was a key Trump campaign adviser. During his confirmation hearing in January, he told senators that he’d had no contact with anyone in the Russian government; he later acknowledged two meetings with Russia’s ambassador to the U.S.
More than 80,000 people have signed Common Cause's petition urging Sessions to resign. You can add your name here.
Some of the big money donors now dominating American politics are looking to buy political influence overseas as well.
The New York Times reports today that Dutch leader Geert Wilders’ political rise is being financed in large part by conservative American donors.
“David Horowitz, an American right-wing activist, has contributed roughly $150,000 to Mr. Wilders’s Party for Freedom over two years — of which nearly $120,000 came in 2015, making it the largest individual contribution in the Dutch political system that year, according to recently released records,” the Times said.
Parliamentary elections one week from today in the Netherlands are the first in a series of votes this year that could transform western European democracies. There are signs that the wave of nationalism that swept Britain and the U.S. last year with the former’s withdrawal from the European Union and the latter’s election of President Trump, is spreading.
The Times said Horowitz donated to Wilders’s political party through his foundation, which is classed by the IRS as a tax-exempt charity and barred by U.S. law from contributing to political organizations.
Michael Finch, the president of Mr. Horowitz’s foundation, told The Times in an email that “the funds that were sent to Geert Wilders were to help him in his legal cases” and “were not political donations.”
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