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Politics Pompeo to headline fundraiser for Christian charity in swing-state Florida

03:20  26 september  2020
03:20  26 september  2020 Source:   abcnews.go.com

A lame-duck Pompeo could jump-start America’s strategic revival and his 2024 prospects

  A lame-duck Pompeo could jump-start America’s strategic revival and his 2024 prospects Mike Pompeo is among the most qualified secretaries of State to ever hold his position. He graduated first in his class from West Point and served subsequently in the 4th Infantry Division based in West Germany. He was a successful businessman, congressman, and director of Central Intelligence before finally moving over to Foggy Bottom. Unlike Hillary Clinton, whose supporters bragged about her qualifications, Pompeo had both military and private sector experience and did not owe his rise to his spouse. Pompeo represented the 4th congressional district in Kansas because he founded a business there and lived there for more than a decade before his turn to politics.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo addresses reporters Sunday, Dec. Pompeo said that the State Department is reviewing the activities of two organizations affiliated with UFWD, the U.S.-China Friendship Association and the China Council for the Promotion of Peaceful Reunification.

The fundraiser comes as Trump and Republicans were massively outraised by Joe Biden and the Democrats in August. Trump has been hitting Biden for President Donald Trump will hit three swing states on Friday: Florida , Georgia and Virginia - and stop back in Washington, D.C. for a fundraiser .

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will be the keynote speaker at a fundraiser for a conservative Christian charity next weekend, marking another foray into politics for the top U.S. diplomat.

Mike Pompeo et al. looking at a man in a suit and tie: President Donald Trump talks to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during a cabinet meeting in the Cabinet Room of the White House on Aug. 16, 2018. © Oliver Contreras/Pool via Getty Images President Donald Trump talks to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during a cabinet meeting in the Cabinet Room of the White House on Aug. 16, 2018.

The fundraiser, with its $10,000 tickets for "a personal visit with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo," may cross legal lines, according to ethics experts.

Mike Pompeo Hits Campaign Trail for Trump in Shift for Top Diplomat

  Mike Pompeo Hits Campaign Trail for Trump in Shift for Top Diplomat Secretary of State Michael Pompeo is ramping up his domestic appearances before overwhelmingly Republican audiences, raising criticism that he’s going on the campaign trail for President Donald Trump by taking part in events that previous top U.S. diplomats would have avoided. © POOL/AFP via Getty Images Mike Pompeo on Sept. 21. Pompeo will be in Wisconsin on Wednesday to address the Republican-controlled state legislature in a speech billed as warning of the threat that states face from China’s Communist Party.

Her position in crucial swing state Florida could help Trump politically. 'It falls to the citizens of the state of Florida and their elected state legislators, not to federal judges, to make any additional changes to it.'

Lawmakers grill Pompeo on Trump-Putin summit - Продолжительность: 2:53:58 Fox News 6 671 144 просмотра. New Fox poll: Trump tops Clinton in key battleground states - Продолжительность: 5:27 Fox News 52 952 просмотра.

It will be Pompeo's second stop in a state considered a presidential battleground in as many weeks, with the 2020 election looming large on the horizon. Pompeo has been criticized for blurring the line between his official and personal capacity or stepping too far into domestic politics, including his remarks to the Republican National Convention in August.

MORE: Pompeo takes Trump's anti-China message to election swing state Wisconsin

The Florida Family Policy Council is hosting the gala Oct. 3 in Orlando, according to its invitations, which list Pompeo as "keynote speaker" and "celebrate 15 years of fighting for Florida's families to protect the unborn, natural marriage, religious liberty, and more!"

Mike Pompeo standing in front of a flat screen television: U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is displayed on screens giving a speech to the Republican National Convention from Jerusalem, Aug. 25, 2020. © Xinhua News Agency viaGetty Images, FILE U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is displayed on screens giving a speech to the Republican National Convention from Jerusalem, Aug. 25, 2020.

The event will raise funds for the charity, a legally registered 501(c)(3) that is affiliated with Focus on the Family, Alliance Defending Freedom and Family Research Council. Earlier this week, Pompeo was interviewed by FRC President Tony Perkins as part of his organization's Values Voter Summit.

Pompeo accused of stumping for Trump ahead of election

  Pompeo accused of stumping for Trump ahead of election Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is positioning himself as a key surrogate for President Trump weeks before the election, an almost unheard-of role for the U.S.’s top diplomat but one the former Republican congressman has embraced as part of his own future political ambitions. © GETTY IMAGES Pompeo accused of stumping for Trump ahead of election Pompeo was in Wisconsin on Wednesday to address Republican lawmakers in the state legislature in a trip that was ostensibly about foreign policy. But his visit has drawn criticism for promoting the president's agenda in a key swing state just 40 days before the election.

The funds raised by Bloomberg will be combined with million already raised by the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition. The program’s get-out-the-vote effort is aimed at only a very narrow subsection of the state ’s sizable felon population, however: black and Hispanic ex-cons who are already registered

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Federal ethics regulations allow officials to deliver speeches at fundraisers if their remarks focus on their official duties and they don't actively solicit donations for the group. But those activities must be authorized as "consistent with the agency's mission or otherwise further[ing] agency programs."

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"I honestly can't imagine how it could be in an official capacity to raise funds for this organization," said Kathleen Clark, a government ethics scholar, of Pompeo's appearance. "It's so far afield from the State Department's function."

Beyond the restrictions on fundraising, Pompeo's appearance may also violate rules about using public office for private gain, according to Clark, because FFPC is offering $10,000 tickets for "a personal visit with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo" and its leadership and $5,000 and $3,000 tickets to a VIP reception with him.

Pompeo’s Swing-State Appearances Look a Lot Like Campaigning for Trump

  Pompeo’s Swing-State Appearances Look a Lot Like Campaigning for Trump The secretary of State has been touting the president’s agenda in key battlegrounds, violating norms and possibly the Hatch Act.While the secretary of State traditionally avoids participating in domestic politics, Pompeo’s Wisconsin visit was his fourth such event this month, according to the Associated Press. During his tenure, Pompeo has regularly flouted restrictions that former secretaries of State observed in an effort to comply with the Hatch Act, which prohibits federal employees from engaging in political activities.

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Her position in crucial swing state Florida could help Trump politically. Last week, she voted in the majority in a ruling that barred hundreds of thousands of Florida 'It falls to the citizens of the state of Florida and their elected state legislators, not to federal judges, to make any additional changes to it.'

MORE: Pompeo defends Republican convention speech amid legal questions

"What he's doing is using his capacity as Secretary of State to enable this non-government entity to raise money off of it -- and that is using public office for private gain, which is improper," Clark, who teaches at Washington University in St. Louis School of Law, told ABC News.

"The ethics regulations that he is violating (5 CFR 2635.808 & 2635.702) are the law. He is acting illegally (although these are not crimes)," she added in an email.

The State Department did not respond to a request for comment, including whether Pompeo is appearing in his official or personal capacity.

Tony Perkins wearing a suit and tie: Family Research Council President Tony Perkins (right) welcomes U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to the stage during the Value Voters Summit at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, Sept. 21, 2018 . © Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images, FILE Family Research Council President Tony Perkins (right) welcomes U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to the stage during the Value Voters Summit at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, Sept. 21, 2018 .

Pompeo addressed the Republican National Convention in August in an unprecedented speech, but the department and the RNC said it was in his "personal capacity."

Mike Pompeo to keynote Florida conservative Christian event, raising ethical and legal questions

  Mike Pompeo to keynote Florida conservative Christian event, raising ethical and legal questions Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is slated to keynote a gala event for a conservative Christian organization in Florida -- an appearance that comes a month before Election Day and may violate legal and ethical guidelines. © Ashley Landis/AFP/Pool/Getty Images US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library, July 23, 2020, in Yorba Linda, California.

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FFPC's gala invitations refer to him as the Secretary of State though, making it more difficult for the State Department to say he's there in any personal capacity, according to Kedric Payne, general counsel and senior director of ethics at the nonpartisan Campaign Legal Center.

MORE: Cleared of wrongdoing for Kansas trips, Pompeo turns to attack Dem requesting probe

But Payne said Pompeo may be on firmer ground, even with the VIP access tickets, because FFPC is a 501(c)(3), a charity recognized by the IRS.

"This can be done in a right way, in a legal way, but you never know with this administration and how high the stakes are -- it may quickly go to the other side of the line," he added.

Mike Pompeo et al. sitting at a table: President Donald Trump talks to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during a cabinet meeting in the Cabinet Room of the White House on Aug. 16, 2018. © Oliver Contreras/Pool via Getty Images President Donald Trump talks to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during a cabinet meeting in the Cabinet Room of the White House on Aug. 16, 2018.

The trip to Florida will also be the latest in a series of domestic visits that have sparked fierce criticism, especially from Democratic lawmakers, and equally fiery defenses from Pompeo.

"Dear Coastal Elites in the Media," he tweeted about an opinion piece from his personal Twitter account in July after a visit to swing state Iowa, "You don't write articles like this when I travel to NYC, Boston or Philly. Do you think America's Heartland isn't worth my time? Because I do. There's a lot of the country that exists outside the Acela corridor -- you should visit it sometime."

MORE: Pompeo to speak at RNC in unprecedented move critics call inappropriate

But Democratic lawmakers, former officials and some within the agency have criticized his choice of states as political campaigning -- visiting Iowa in July, Texas and Wisconsin in September and now Florida in October.

"Campaigning for President Trump with taxpayer resources is just the latest example of Secretary Pompeo's willingness to break the law and put his political interest above our national interest," Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-Texas, told The Hill about the secretary's trip to Wisconsin on Wednesday.

Pompeo, in Rome, pushes criticism of religious freedom in China .
Pompeo, in Rome, pushes criticism of religious freedom in China"Nowhere is religious freedom under assault more than in China," Pompeo told a symposium hosted by the U.S. Embassy to the Holy See, saying the Chinese Communist Party was looking to "to snuff out the lamp of freedom ... on a horrifying scale".

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