Congressman asks if Biden solicited 'foreign in-kind contribution' to election

Joe Biden talks on the phone with King Salman of Saudi Arabia Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2022, in the Oval Office of the White House. (Official White House photo by Adam Schultz)
Joe Biden talks on the phone with King Salman of Saudi Arabia Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2022, in the Oval Office of the White House. (Official White House photo by Adam Schultz)

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Officials in Saudi Arabia already have confirmed, in a rare statement, that Joe Biden put pressure on OPEC+ members to delay a planned oil production cut until November.

That would be when the midterm election campaign essentially is over, and and a production cut then, raising raise gasoline prices in America, would make little difference on the vote. An October cut is viewed by Democrats as harming their electoral odds.

The oil coalition, in fact, announced a production cut of two million barrels per day on Oct. 5 and that prompted Biden’s White House to issue threats to the Saudis.

Now a member of Congress is asking for an investigation into whether Biden’s attempt at force a delay in the OPEC+ action amounted to soliciting an unlawful in-kind foreign contribution to Democrats’ American electoral chances.

The Daily Mail reported Rep. Tom Tiffany, R-Wis., has written to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi insisting that the appropriate congressional committees hold hearings to “determine if such calls took place and what specific requests were made,” to obtain transcripts of White House calls from Biden, Kamala Harris or others to Saudis, and to “identify any Biden administration official who may have asked any Saudi government official to delay any oil production cut until November or later.”

He cited confirmation from Saudis that “Biden administration officials may have pressured the kingdom…”

“This is a very serious allegation. One that, if true, may very well constitute an illegal solicitation of a foreign in-kind contribution by the White House on behalf of Democrats’ midterm campaign efforts,” his letter said.

The Daily Mail reported Biden administration officials “expressed deep anger last week when the OPEC+ oil coalition announced plans to keep prices high by cutting production.”

Under Biden’s inflationary economic policies, gasoline prices rose earlier this year to more than $6 a gallon in some locations. They had ticked down in recent months as Biden drained America’s emergency Strategic Petroleum Reserves and sold off that oil, but now for the past few weeks have been rising again.

The production cut is expected to aggravate those increases, just as the midterm elections are held, elections that are expected to decide who runs Congress for the next two years.

The controversy erupted this week when the Saudi Foreign Ministry issued a very rare statement, defending its decision.

“It said it had explained to Washington that delaying the Oct. 5 decision by a month ‘according to what has been suggested’ would have led to ‘negative economic consequences,'” the report explained.

The Biden administration earlier had admitted lobbying the Saudis that “energy supply needs to meet energy demand.”

The Daily Mail observed, “It was never likely that such a request would have been granted as experts believe that Saudi Crown-Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the cut at least in part to spite Biden and Democrats in the midterm elections. Biden himself had a controversial meeting with the crown prince, beginning with a fist bump rather than a handshake, in July.”

The oil supply from OPEC is an issue since under Biden’s orders, oil production in the United States has fallen dramatically. He has virtually shut down pipeline projects and exploration on public lands.

When President Trump was in office, the U.S. was energy independent. Under Biden, it’s now dependent on foreign imports.

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