Major Dem donors, including a Nord Stream 2 lobbyist, recently gave the highest amount of campaign contributions for Senator Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and other vulnerable Senate Democrats. Schumer may still face a challenger in the upcoming reelection.
According to lobbying disclosure records, Roberti Global was paid $8.5 Million for Nord Stream 2 lobbying work and received honorary titles at both the House of Reps and the Senate Dems campaign arms.
Multiple senators have received the legal maximum limit of $5,800, including Sens. Catherine Cortez Masto, Richard Blumenthal (D–CT), and Patty Murray. Roberti has reportedly also contributed more than the maximum amount for primary contributions to Sens. Maggie Hassan. Cortez Masto, Hassan, and Hassan. They will all face brutal GOP challengers in their reelection fights next spring.
President Joe Biden has canceled the Keystone Pipeline in the U.S, caused massive layoffs, stopped energy exploration on federal land, and waged war against pipelines. Biden lifted Trump-era Russia sanctions to allow for the construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline from Germany, which essentially lost us our energy independence.
Sen. Ted Cruz is trying to get the sanctions against Russia reinstated. Cruz and other GOP members have blocked Biden’s nominations for the State Department, and other agencies, in order to use that leverage against Biden to reimpose sanctions.
Roberti isn’t the only Dem donor to support the pipeline for money to Senate Democrats. McLarty Inbound, Mack McLarty’s foreign lobbying arm, was also mentioned in the report. He was the former chief of staff for former President Bill Clinton and worked at the consulting firm that represents five companies that have a financial stake at Nord Stream.
McLarty personally donated to several Dem senators this past year. His Inbound managing partner, Richard Burt, said McLarty was not involved in lobbying for anyone. Burt answered questions about Nord Stream, lobbying, and Russian sanctions issues, adding that they should speak to the people who represent Nord Stream 2.
Many senators who accepted donations said they were against Nord Stream 2 & support strong action. A spokesperson for Hassan said Hassan supported strong actions against Nord Stream 2, including voting in 2017 for sanctions and as part of the FY20/ FY21 defense authorizations.
He was against the pipeline and supports Sen. Menendez’s amendment to trigger severe sanctions if Russia escalates its actions against Ukraine, including on Nord Stream II.
Cortez Masto’s aide said that the senator opposed Nord Stream 2 as well as the Biden administration’s decision to allow the pipeline forward. Although some senators responded to their opposition to the pipeline, despite receiving money from Roberti, Schumer’s spokesperson stated that he had not spoken to Roberti regarding this issue.