Sen. Cruz and Rep. Zeldin Issue Joint Statement on New PSI Report Investigating State Department Grants to OneVoice
'Our taxpayer dollars should not be used to further any effort to overthrow the duly-elected leader of a democratic ally'
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.) today issued the following statement on the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations’ (PSI) bipartisan report titled “Review of U.S. State Department Grants to OneVoice,” which confirms that U.S. taxpayer dollars were provided to an organization that sought to oust Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu:
“OneVoice’s previous history of being involved in past Israeli elections should have been enough of a red flag not to provide grants under any circumstances,” Cruz and Zeldin said. “Yet the State Department’s apparent lack of oversight, either deliberate or blatantly incompetent, is nonetheless completely unacceptable in either respect. Our taxpayer dollars should not be used to further any effort to overthrow the duly-elected leader of a democratic ally, even if he or she is not politically aligned with the current American administration. Instead of undermining the will of Israelis in the only true democracy in the Middle East, America should be providing our close ally Israel with our steadfast support.”
Sen. Cruz and Rep. Zeldin first sent a letter to the State Department on January 29, 2015, expressing strong concerns over media reports a taxpayer funded 501(c)3 non-profit called OneVoice was actively working with V15 to influence the outcome of the March 17, 2015 Israeli elections and calling for a State Department investigation into the matter. After further alarming news reports indicated OneVoice was engaged in overt political activity, they sent a letter to IRS Commissioner John Koskinen on March 3, 2015 questioning whether OneVoice was acting in violation of its tax exempt status. The IRS refused to answer their questions.
This new PSI report confirms much of the disturbing allegations raised in the Cruz-Zeldin letters to both the State Department and the IRS. OneVoice built a major grassroots campaign infrastructure and operation using grants provided by the State Department, which was then subsequently utilized during the Israeli election with the specific goal of defeating Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the Israeli election. A consulting firm founded by two former Obama campaign operatives, 270 Strategies, received its own State Department grant and approval to advise OneVoice on constructing this effort. The political game plan was further devised during the State Department’s grant period and was even emailed to a top State Department official who deleted it--and then, subsequently, not only denied reading it, but also claimed to be unaware it was against government policy to delete such emails.