Congress to Launch Counter-Kleptocracy Caucus at June 10 Event

WASHINGTON—At a vir­tu­al kick­off event on June 10, Rep. Tom Malinowski (NJ-07), Rep. John Curtis (UT-03), Rep. Bill Keating (MA-09), and Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01) will launch the Congressional Caucus against Foreign Corruption and Kleptocracy. Helsinki Commission Chairman Sen. Ben Cardin (MD) will wel­come the for­ma­tion of the cau­cus at the event.

PUTTING KLEPTOCRACY IN THE CROSSHAIRS
Launch of the Congressional Caucus Against Foreign Corruption and Kleptocracy

Thursday, June 10, 2021
4:00 p.m.

Register: https://bit.ly/3uLlvXA

The Congressional Caucus against Foreign Corruption and Kleptocracy will edu­cate and mobi­lize Members of Congress on the cross-juris­dic­tion­al nature of for­eign cor­rup­tion and iden­ti­fy bipar­ti­san oppor­tu­ni­ties to work togeth­er to curb kleptocracy.

Opening remarks by mem­bers of Congress will be fol­lowed by a civ­il soci­ety pan­el. Participants include:

  • Gary Kalman, Director of the U.S. Office, Transparency International USA
  • Nate Sibley, Research Fellow, Kleptocracy Initiative, Hudson Institute
  • Frederik Obermaier, Investigative Journalist, Süddeutsche Zeitung; Co-Founder, Anti-Corruption Data Collective
  • Elaine Dezenski, Senior Advisor, Foundation for the Defense of Democracies

The fight against cor­rup­tion needs to be seen as a nation­al secu­ri­ty pri­or­i­ty of the high­est order. The Caucus Against Foreign Corruption and Kleptocracy will be the first insti­tu­tion­al­ized con­gres­sion­al body ded­i­cat­ed to infor­ma­tion-shar­ing and to find­ing solu­tions to the prob­lem of glob­al cor­rup­tion,” said Chairman Cardin, who, along with Helsinki Commission Ranking Member Sen. Roger Wicker (MS), recent­ly intro­duced the Countering Russian and Other Overseas Kleptocracy (CROOK) Act to upgrade America’s anti-cor­rup­tion efforts. “This new cau­cus will ele­vate the prob­lem of cor­rup­tion so it can receive the high-lev­el atten­tion required to deter such cor­ro­sive activity.”

From Russia to China to Egypt and Venezuela, cor­rup­tion is the essence of mod­ern dic­ta­tor­ship, but also its biggest vul­ner­a­bil­i­ty,” said Rep. Malinowski. “The best way for the demo­c­ra­t­ic world to win our strug­gle with author­i­tar­i­an­ism is to deny these thieves who are loot­ing their coun­tries access to our finan­cial sys­tems and to stand with the vic­tims of klep­toc­ra­cy everywhere.”

Capitalism backed by the rule of law has been a key to the lib­er­ty and suc­cess of the United States and many of our allies. Global corruption—particularly that dri­ven by the Chinese Communist Party—eats away at that rule of law and severe­ly threat­ens lib­er­ty across the world,” said Rep. Curtis. “I look for­ward to work­ing with col­leagues on this cau­cus to explore and pro­mote bipar­ti­san efforts to com­bat author­i­tar­i­an cor­rup­tion across the globe.”

Russia and China seek to export strate­gic cor­rup­tion and their brand of dig­i­tal author­i­tar­i­an­ism in an attempt to under­mine the foun­da­tion of our democ­ra­cy and that of our allies. Together my col­leagues and I have rec­og­nized their malign tac­tics and are com­pelled to respond. For this rea­son,  I am stand­ing with my col­leagues to launch this Caucus as an exten­sion of the vital work I lead as Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee Subcommittee on Europe, Energy, the Environment and Cyber to counter for­eign cor­rup­tion and klep­toc­ra­cy,” said Rep. Keating.

The fight against cor­rup­tion offers the first oppor­tu­ni­ty in a gen­er­a­tion to har­mo­nize our domes­tic and for­eign pol­i­cy in ser­vice of American val­ues,” said Rep. Fitzpatrick. “I spent my career as an agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation fight­ing cor­rup­tion at home and over­seas and now am hon­ored to work on a bipar­ti­san basis with my col­leagues to do the same.”

The new cau­cus will focus on fight­ing klep­toc­ra­cy, an author­i­tar­i­an gov­er­nance mod­el in which polit­i­cal lead­ers rou­tine­ly engage in illic­it self-enrich­ment, main­tain pow­er through cor­rupt patron­age net­works, exploit rule of law juris­dic­tions to con­ceal and pro­tect stolen assets, and use strate­gic cor­rup­tion as a tool of for­eign policy.

Because the fight against for­eign cor­rup­tion spans sev­er­al of com­mit­tees of juris­dic­tion, the cau­cus will allow mem­bers and staff to share per­spec­tives and coor­di­nate efforts to con­front the grow­ing threat of for­eign cor­rup­tion. The cau­cus will hold peri­od­ic hear­ings, spon­sor infor­mal round­ta­bles and staff brief­in­gs with lead­ing experts, coor­di­nate over­sight let­ters and leg­isla­tive ini­tia­tives, and facil­i­tate infor­ma­tion-shar­ing across committees.

Other found­ing mem­bers of the Caucus against Foreign Corruption and Kleptocracy include Helsinki Commissioner Rep. Steve Cohen (TN-09), as well as Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (TX-18), Rep. Sara Jacobs (CA-53), Rep. Marcy Kaptur (OH-09), Rep. Dean Phillips (MN-03), Rep. Katie Porter (CA-45), Rep. Abigail Spanberger (VA-07), Rep. Jack Bergman (MI-01), Rep. Anthony Gonzalez (OH-16), Rep. Adam Kinzinger (IL-16), Rep. Peter Meijer (MI-03), Rep. Maria Salazar (FL-27), and Rep. Mike Waltz (FL-06).

www.csce.gov

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