Burchett urges DOJ, Treasury to investigate ActBlue’s role in funding BDS movement
March 11, 2021
WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 11, 2021) – Today, U.S. Representative Tim Burchett (TN-02) sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Attorney General Merrick Garland requesting their respective departments investigate the fundraising platform ActBlue for its involvement in financing the Boycott, Divest, and Sanction (BDS) movement. The BDS movement aims to delegitimize the state of Israel, one of the United States’ key allies in the Middle East.
The pro-BDS movement Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) currently uses ActBlue to solicit donations. PACBI is also affiliated with the Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC), an organization known to have ties with foreign terrorist groups such as Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
In his letter, Rep. Burchett raised concerns that money raised on ActBlue is potentially financing terrorist organizations. He also pointed out ActBlue would be violating federal law if money raised on its platform ultimately fell into the hands of these organizations.
“I am worried that funds donated to PACBI via ActBlue are, through BNC, directed to foreign terror organizations,” Rep. Burchett wrote. “This would be a breach of 18 U.S.Code § 2339B, which prohibits any party from providing material support or resources to designated foreign terrorist organizations.”
Additionally, Rep. Burchett reiterated there is bipartisan opposition to the BDS movement from the majority of federal elected officials—including President Joe Biden and his administration.
“There is bipartisan opposition among American public officials—including the majority of Congress—to the BDS movement. Additionally, when I asked Secretary of State Blinken about this issue recently, he confirmed that the Biden Administration opposes the BDS movement and indicated that stance will not change,” Rep. Burchett wrote.
Rep. Burchett is a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and currently sits on the Subcommittee on Middle East, North Africa, and Global Counterterrorism.
A full copy of Rep. Burchett’s letter to Sec. Yellen and AG Garland is available here.