State Dept. Purged Emails – $300,000 Grant to anti-Netanyahu Group


Benjamin Netanyahu and President Obama

by Beverley Russell – Op-ed senior columnist Trumpville Report

State Department purged emails about $300,000 grant to anti-Netanyahu group. Congress on Friday launched a wide-ranging probe into a secret Obama administration-funded campaign to unseat Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, according to information exclusively obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.

The probe comes on the heels of an internal government report determining that the State Department provided hundreds of thousands to an organization that plotted to unseat Netanyahu in the country’s 2015 election.

Obama administration officials were found to have deleted emails from State Department accounts, containing information about its relationship with OneVoice, the non-profit group that led the effort.

OneVoice, which was awarded $465,000 in U.S. grants through 2014, has been under congressional investigation since 2015 when it was first accused of funneling some of that money to partisan political groups looking to unseat Netanyahu. This type of behavior by non-profit groups is prohibited under U.S. tax law.

A group of nine leading lawmakers led by Sen. David Perdue (R., Ga.) are now formally petitioning the State Department to come clean about the effort, and provide answers about how, U.S. taxpayer dollars were permitted to be spent on an organization working against the elected leader of America’s closest Middle East ally, according to a readout of the investigation obtained by the Free Beacon.

“State Department officials failed to properly vet the OneVoice grant proposal because they failed to properly conduct an analysis of risks in the pre-award phase,” the senators wrote in a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry. “Unfortunately, it seems that inconsistency and apathy toward oversight of such grants at the State Department is not new. Our aid dollars should be going toward solving real problems, not contributing to the destabilization of allied governments.”

The lawmakers—including Sens. Ted Cruz (R., Texas), Mark Kirk (R., Ill.), Orrin Hatch (R., Utah), Mike Lee (R., Utah), and Johnny Isakson (R., Ga.) among others, wrote that the State Department turned a blind eye to OneVoice’s highly partisan activities, and failed to perform proper oversight, about how U.S. funds were being spent by the group.

“State Department officials utterly failed to follow established procedures and guidelines to properly identify, mitigate, or guard against any risk that OneVoice would misuse these funds before, during, and after the grant period,” the letter said. “As a direct result of these failures, OneVoice was able to use the more than $300,000 grant to build campaign infrastructure and resources which later were deployed in support of a negative campaign against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, his Likud Party, and the democratically elected coalition government of Israel during the 2015 Israeli parliamentary election.”

State Department officials were aware of OneVoice’s partisan activities but still permitted the grant money to be awarded, according to the senators, who are pushing for the administration to take disciplinary action against the officials involved.

“Despite knowledge of such activities, State Department officials failed to adequately document any assessment of the risk that OneVoice might continue obstructive efforts against a certain political party in the event of an election,” the letter stated.

“State Department grant policies and procedures are in place to ensure that taxpayer dollars are used to fund U.S. government initiatives and further U.S. interests,” the letter said.

The senators require the State Department to answer a series of questions about the grant, including how it vetted OneVoice and why proper oversight methods were not employed.

They also are seeking to determine what “disciplinary action” is being taken against U.S. officials who knew about the plan to unseat Netanyahu but, failed to take action to report this behavior.

A new report on Friday revealed that Congress is beginning an investigation into President Obama’s secret bankrolling of an effort, to defeat Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the last election, an effort that failed.

The Free Beacon reports, it has obtained details about the hundreds of thousands of dollars given to a group that tried to influence Israel’s 2015 election.

The probe follows an internal government report that found the State Department turned over the money and then deleted emails from government accounts detailing the relationship with the group called OneVoice.

WND had reported only weeks ago, on the report released by the Senate Permanent Subcommittee, on Investigations that concluded the Obama administration funded an effort to overthrow Netanyahu in Israel, one of America’s closest and most ardent allies.

The investigation concerned about $350,000 in grants given by the United States to a group called OneVoice to “support peace negotiations between Israel and Palestine.”

The organization pursued that goal but later used its assets, built up with the grant money, to campaign against Netanyahu, with whom President Obama has been at odds.

Obama puts a catch in agreement with Israel.

WND reported last year, the investigation focused on State Department grants to a non-profit group that had been leading, field organizing efforts openly aimed at replacing Netanyahu’s government, with a center-left coalition.

The use of taxpayer funds to oppose Netanyahu technically wasn’t illegal, because of the apparent negligence of administration officials, who did not specify exactly how the leftovers from the peace campaign could be used.

The Senate report explains: “OneVoice Israel fully complied with the terms of its State Department grants. OneVoice designed and executed a grassroots and media campaign to promote public support for Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations for the department, as it said it would. Under the grant, OneVoice expanded its social media presence, built a larger voter database, and hired an American political consulting firm to train its activists and executives in grassroots organizing methods in support of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

“Soon after the grant period ended, however, OneVoice used the campaign infrastructure and resources built, in part, with State Department grant funds to support V15. In service of V15, OneVoice deployed its social media platform, which more than doubled during the State Department grant period; used its database of voter contact information, including email addresses, which OVI expanded during the grant period; and enlisted its network of trained activists, many of whom were recruited or trained under the grant, to support and recruit for V15. This pivot to electoral politics was consistent with a strategic plan developed by OneVoice leadership and emailed to State Department officials during the grant period. The State Department diplomat who received the plan told the subcommittee that he never reviewed it.”

The report continued: “OneVoice’s use of government-funded resources for political purposes was not prohibited by the grant agreement because the State Department placed no limitations on the post-grant use of those resources. Despite OneVoice’s previous political activism in the 2013 Israeli election, the department failed to take any steps to guard against the risk that OneVoice could engage in political activities using State-funded grassroots campaign infrastructure after the grant period.”

At the Weekly Standard, writer Jim Swift had pointed out the American tax dollars were used to build up the resources of an activist group, then “once the infrastructure was built, it was used in an attempt to topple the government of one of America’s closest allies.”

The report noted, the State Department previously has been described as lax in its attention to the requirements and limits of grant proceeds.

“Specifically, in more than 80 percent of the grants reviewed, GAO found that State officials either failed to look for risks at all or skipped key elements of the risk identification process, such as a review of the recipient’s financial systems and international controls. GAO further reported that State failed to assess or mitigate the risks of more than half of those grants for which it identified at least partial risk.”

The committee got involved when there were allegations, now documented, that American tax dollars were being used in an attempt to take down Netanyahu.

The Obama administration was unable to produce all of the documents involved because it failed to retain the email records of Michael Ratney, then U.S. consultant general in Jerusalem.

Similar to Hillary Clinton’s arbitrary disposal of emails, the report said Ratney also deleted emails.

The report confirms, the plan already was developed during the time period when the American grants were coming in.

“The subcommittee finds that the State Department, failed to adequately guard against the risk that resources built with government grants, would be deployed for political purposes,” the report found. “The department failed to conduct any assessment of the risk that, were an election called, OneVoice would continue its political activities using State-funded resources.”

That’s even though officials admitted, “influencing foreign elections is a ‘red line’ that State grantees cannot cross.”

And the group, OneVoice, even “held itself out publicly as a ‘partner’ of the State Department and the U.S. Embassy-Tel Aviv, including on its website and annual reports to donors.”

“On its website, OneVoice noted that its ‘partnerships reflect the validation our work on the ground has received from like-minded organizations.’

“OneVoice also cited its relationship with State in donor pitches to raise additional funds,” the report said.

Hacked Email Reveals Israel has 200 Nukes: Here’s Their Shocking Plan For Obama’s Iran.

Obama is treading on treason under the U.S. Constitution for aiding and abetting Iran, a known enemy of the United States, while throwing Israel, a longtime U.S. ally, to the wolves.

While Obama’s Iranian buddies keep moving closer to having full nuclear capabilities, an unfortunate truth for Iran has just come to light. US Secretary of State Colin Powell’s email account was hacked by Russian hackers earlier this week, revealing that Iran would never be able to use a nuclear weapon because according to Powell, “The boys in Tehran known Israel has 200 nukes and we have thousands. This firepower would deter any Iranian action.”

In his email, Powell was referring to a speech that Benjamin Netanyahu delivered to Congress, where he tried to prevent them from signing the nuclear deal with Iran.

As the Debka File reported:

This was not the first American estimate of this kind, but it is the first time a senior political and military personage, who was certainly privy to US intelligence on the subject, is quoted as saying that Israel has 200 nuclear warheads.

In an interview, last year, Retired U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Paul Vallely spoke out against Obama’s deal with Iran, saying that Secretary of State John Kerry and chief White House adviser Valerie Jarrett, “are treading on treason under the U.S. Constitution for aiding and abetting Iran, a known enemy of the United States.

It’s comforting to know that despite Obama’s antics, Israel has enough arsenal to take care of themselves! Iran better watch their backs before Netanyahu decides to take out the trash!

America stands with Israel, Trump stands with Israel.

Time for true leadership. Leadership that will back our ally’s, not our enemies! Time for Mr. President Trump!

by Beverley Russell – Op-ed senior columnist Trumpville Report

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