In a quick and abrupt move, the Federal Election Commision kicked a decision to jump into the ever-expanding investigation into Russia's meddling in the 2016 election to next month.
The decision was a surprise, apparently even to the proponent, Democratic Commissioner Ellen Weintraub, who pledged, "I'll be back."
Yup. The @FEC punted. Chairman Walther says he wants time to consider slightly revised docs from @EllenLWeintraub. "I'll be back," she says. https://t.co/4MS5GpU548— Dave Levinthal (@davelevinthal) June 22, 2017
The move was made by the chairman of the FEC, Democratic Commissioner Steven Walther. He suggested that she had changed her proposal at the last minute and that the commission needed time to review those.
Secrets reported Wednesday that Weintraub planned to push for the FEC to get involved in the issue and expand the probe to cover the political activities of companies with foreign ownership and even foreign ad buying on U.S. internet sites. She named Facebook in her proposal, but several others, such as the Drudge Report and Huffington Post, take ads too.
Weintraub has tried to expand the FEC's investigative powers to foreign companies before, and been blocked.
Critics of her new proposal said that it goes far beyond the authority of the FEC, especially because she wants to look into state election records.
Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at email@example.com