February 17, 2020/Press

ICYMI: NC Democrats File Ethics Complaint Against Tillis For Improperly Using His Official Position to Support His Re-Election

Senator Tillis improperly used his official position to support his re-election campaign, misusing official resources for campaign purposes and fundraising off his role on the Senate Judiciary Committee, according to a complaint filed by the NCDP. This isn’t the first time Tillis has been under fire for shady ethics. Two separate complaints filed by the nonpartisan watchdog Campaign Legal Center alleged that Tillis’ 2014 campaign illegally coordinated with a Super PAC using Cambridge Analytica and with the gun lobby. Tillis’ repeated ethical issues show that he’s a self-serving Washington politician who will bend the rules for his own personal gain.

News & Observer: NC Democrats file ethics complaint against Tillis. His campaign calls it ‘frivolous’
By Brian Murphy
February 15, 2020

Key Points:

  • The North Carolina Democratic Party filed a Senate ethics complaint against Republican U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis, alleging he improperly used his official position to support his re-election campaign.
  • The complaint, sent to the Senate Ethics Committee on Friday, centers on a Jan. 21 fundraising email from Tillis’ Senate campaign.
  • The Tillis email asked recipients to “make a contribution to our Presidential Protection Fund before the Senate trial begins to ensure we have the resources to FIGHT BACK against the Democrats.”
  • On Jan. 21, the Senate started debate on rules for the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump.
  • The complaint says Tillis violated the law and the Senate Code of Office Conduct “by misusing official resources for campaign purposes.” It argues that Tillis’ use of “Judiciary Committee Member” as the sender of the email constitutes use of official resources.
  • The complaint further alleges asking for donations before the trial started is a “clear request for campaign contributions in exchange for and because of” Tillis’ official acts as a senator. Tillis and the other 99 senators served as jurors for trial.
  • Tillis indicated many times — including long before the trial began — that he was against impeachment. In September, his campaign said Tillis was confident Trump did nothing wrong. In December, Tillis told reporters he was a “definite no.”
  • Tillis voted “not guilty” on both articles of impeachment, and Trump was acquitted by the Senate on a largely party-line vote.

IndyWeek: In Ethics Complaint, NC Dems Say Thom Tillis Tried to Cash in on Impeachment
By Leigh Tauss
February 15, 2020

Key Points:

  • Thom Tillis, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, tried to cash in on President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial through a fundraising email, the North Carolina Democratic Party alleged in an ethics complaint on Thursday.
  • The complaint, filed to the Senate Select Committee on Ethics, says Tillis violated federal law by sending an email from his campaign on January 21—in the middle of an impeachment trial in which Tillis was a juror sworn to do “impartial” justice—asking for donations to a “Presidential Protection Fund.”
  • The Dems say the fundraising email constituted a misuse of official resources. In addition, they say, Tillis isn’t supposed to raise money “for or because of specific official actions,” the complaint says. It asks for an investigation and “appropriate remedial action.”