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Government Accountability

Speaker Mike Johnson Received a $95,000 Payment From Lobby Group Shortly After Passage of $14.5B Military Aid Package Late Last Year



Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson, has come under scrutiny following revelations that he received significant campaign contributions from a foreign lobby group, particularly known for its pro-foreign policy stance. According to analysis conducted by The Intercept based on Federal Election Commission records, this lobby group donated approximately $95,000 to Johnson’s campaign in November of last year.

The timing of these donations is notable, as they coincided with Johnson’s pivotal role in advancing a high-value aid package through Congress. Johnson’s efforts to expedite this funding drew attention from critics, especially given the significant financial support he received from the lobby group.

In addition to the substantial contribution from the lobby group, Johnson’s campaign also received a substantial amount of money from another political action committee (PAC) in the same year. The majority of these payments occurred after Johnson assumed the position of House Speaker and amidst heightened tensions surrounding a specific issue.

Stephen Walt, a professor of international relations, emphasized the influential role that lobby groups play in shaping U.S. foreign policy, particularly concerning certain regions. He noted concerns about the undue influence of money in politics, citing instances where specific groups targeted lawmakers critical of its policies through attack ads and financial support for opponents.


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Government Accountability

Pentagon overspent $400 million in Ukraine aid, audit reveals



The U.S. Navy has overspent hundreds of millions of dollars in aid to Ukraine due to recurring accounting errors, according to a Pentagon watchdog’s report, which warned the service branch may not have the funds to cover the shortfall next time.

The report released on Tuesday by the US Department of Defense Office of Inspector General (OIG) stated that “the Navy overexecuted its funding three times during fiscal year 2022” when it came to Ukraine supplemental assistance.

Report below:

While the US Navy appropriated around $1.7 billion in funds to Ukraine, the watchdog found that the branch “overexecuted its allotment of Ukraine assistance funds… totaling $398.9 million.” The overspending was due to the Navy’s failure to address long-standing problems with its automated accounting system.

As a result, accounting errors had to be corrected manually on several occasions, leading the OIG to stress that “the Navy did not have adequate internal controls to prevent over-execution of funds from reoccurring.” It added that the military branch also focused on identifying errors after they had already taken place, rather than preventing them.

The OIG warned that while the Navy had resources to cover the difference, “such funds may not be available in the future.”

While the US has become one of Ukraine’s most prominent donors, with Washington allocating around $113 billion to the embattled nation since the start of the conflict, major concerns have arisen about misuse of the funds.

An OIG report in January found that the Pentagon did not properly track $1 billion worth of weapons and other military equipment. This came amid the White House’s long-standing assurances that there was no evidence that weapons had been stolen, despite Ukraine’s reputation for rampant corruption.

Moreover, the Pentagon watchdog announced last month that it had opened more than 50 cases into possible “theft, fraud or corruption, and diversion” of military aid to Ukraine. One of the cases highlighted by Robert Storch, the OIG head, involved items arriving in Poland before disappearing from a shipping manifest once they were sent across the border into Ukraine.

Russia has consistently denounced the arms shipments and repeatedly warned of weapons spillover, alleging that the equipment finds its way onto the black market and into the hands of organized crime and terrorists.


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