A formal ethics complaint filed with the U.S. Senate charges Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., with abusing his political power to intimidate private citizens.
The accusation stems from Reid’s repeated verbal assaults on Republican donors, particularly David and Charles Koch, according to a statement released Monday by Tea Party Patriots.
Reid’s attacks have not been made through a political campaign but on the floor of the U.S. Senate, where the interests of the republic are supposed to be at the forefront, Tea Party Patriots charged.
“This is nothing more than a continuation of the thuggish intimidation campaign mounted by the Obama administration to target and silence people and organizations Democrats disagree with. It has to stop,” said Jenny Beth Martin, co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots.
“The Senate is obliged to investigate allegations of ethical misconduct, and we trust the Senate Select Committee on Ethics will accept this obligation in an open and honest manner,” she said.
Reid long has been accused of using his powerful position for political purposes, with the Heritage Foundation blog recently charging him with “demonizing” the Kochs.
Martin told WND the attacks are egregious, because they are against private American citizens during formal Senate sessions, “using taxpayers dollars” with “the intention of intimidating and silencing” others.
“We have filed this complaint so that the ethics committee can do a proper investigation,” she said.
The solution could be a censure from the Senate floor or a referral to the U.S. Department of Justice, she said.
“I would hope that the senators would actually put the well-being of our country and our First Amendment above partisanship,” she said of the Democrat-controlled Senate.
Reid has said the billionaire brothers were “rigging the system” and “trying to buy the country.”
The Heritage blog said:”Of course, he never mentions efforts by big Democratic contributors, such as George Soros and the SEIU. Imagine the audacity of those ‘un-American’ and ‘shrewd businessmen’ (Reid’s words) who would back candidates and causes they believe will make America better.”
The Senate is proposing, under Reid’s leadership, a constitutional amendment that would give government more authority to control political speech.
The Democrat plan would restrict the amount of money that may be raised and spent on political speech.
“Shutting down conservative speech certainly appears to be a motivating factor behind this push to amend the First Amendment,” Heritage wrote.
The media office for Reid’s Washington headquarters declined to respond to a WND request for comment.
Reid’s Senate website includes a page titled “The Facts About the Koch Brothers,” which charges them with wanting to abolish Social Security and eliminate minimum wage laws.
“It’s been generations since a member of the Senate has abused the power of his office to attack private citizens the way Harry Reid has sought to vilify Charles and David Koch,” said Martin. “Reid’s repeated and mean-spirited attacks violate federal laws and Senate rules against using taxpayer-funded resources for partisan politics and he knows it, yet he repeatedly takes to the floor of the Senate and the media to attack those with whom he disagrees – and then turns around and devotes the Senate floor to a ‘talk-a-thon’ on a major donor’s key issue of climate change. Harry Reid is abusing his office in pursuit of naked political purposes and it is a gross misuse of his taxpayer-funded office.”
The complaint by the Tea Party Patriots, a national coalition with more than 3,400 local chapters, is the latest effort to shed light on and halt the “systematic abuse of power by elected officials and the Obama administration to target select groups and individuals, including Internal Revenue Service intimidation of groups seeking tax-exempt status, members of Congress advocating criminal investigations of groups engaging in free speech, and S.J. Res. 19, the effort by Senate Democrats to rewrite the First Amendment through an amendment to the Constitution that would give Congress and the states the power to regulate free speech,” the group said.
The Washington Post describes the Kochs as “near-daily targets of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid … who, at last count, mentioned the brothers on the Senate floor 134 times.”
“The name calling – ‘un-American,’ ‘oil barons, ‘ ‘multizillionaires’ – seems meant to rally fundraising for his party,” the report said.