Adam Schiff Caught Funneling Millions in Tax Dollars to Defense Contractors He Took Donations From

Democrat Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) has been caught funneling millions of dollars in taxpayer money to contractors who have made political donations to his election campaigns.

The 12-term congressman is currently running for a Senate seat and is campaigning on a platform of earmarks for local causes.

However, an investigation by Politico has busted Schiff steering millions in tax dollars to for-profit defense contractors who he took donations from.

“A review of congressional earmarks and political contributions found that in addition to the money for homelessness and drug treatment, Schiff also steered millions to for-profit companies and raised tens of thousands for his House reelection campaigns from corporate executives and people connected to them,” the report reveals.

“The review was mostly limited to publicly available data from the brief three-year window when corporate earmarks were disclosed.”

In two particularly egregious cases, Schiff channeled millions in funding to Smiths Detection and Phasebridge, Inc., two defense companies within his district – with $6 million steered to Smiths Detection and $3 million to Phasebridge.

Both moves would have been barred under reforms adopted in 2010.

This financial maneuvering coincided with Schiff receiving $8,500 in contributions from PMA Group PAC and two family members of Paul Magliocchetti, founder and owner of the lobbying firm retained by both defense companies.

In 2011, Paul Magliocchetti was sentenced to 27 months in prison for making illegal campaign contributions.

Schiff claims not to have a full accounting of his earmarks.

The Congressman’s campaign has been quick to minimize these connections, emphasizing the small proportion of these contributions in his overall fundraising and underscoring his commitment to ensuring Californians’ tax dollars work for their benefit.

In a boilerplate response, spokesperson Marisol Samayoa said: “Californians know and trust Adam’s record of getting things done, and as a U.S. senator, he will do what it takes to ensure Californians’ tax dollars are put to work for them and their priorities.”

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“These contributions amount to less than one-tenth of one percent of what Adam has raised over 20 years in Congress and were driven by what was best for our troops and his constituents.

“It is ridiculous to suggest otherwise.”

However, Schiff’s lack of transparency in providing a complete list of his earmarks further fuels the cloud of skepticism surrounding his actions.

Steve Ellis, president of Taxpayers for Common Sense, a nonpartisan budget watchdog, who has been analyzing earmarks for decades, describes Schiff’s actions as a “pay-to-play” scheme.

“We were always concerned about the pay-to-play aspects and that’s something that every lawmaker must live with,” Ellis said.

“If you’re getting a campaign contribution and getting your earmark for that same company or for a client of that lobbyist, it has that perception.”

The earmark process was changed following rising spending and a series of congressional pay-to-play scandals in the mid-2000s, including that of former Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham (R-CA), who admitted to taking millions in bribes from defense contractors, as well as disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff, who dubbed the appropriations panel a “favor factory.”

Politico listed more of Schiff’s shady contract awarding:

— Schiff directed $1 million to Pasadena-based Eureka Aerospace, which was developing military technology to stop vehicles that ignored checkpoints. Eureka Aerospace CEO James Tatoian contributed $24,600 to Schiff between 2006 and 2016. Others in Tatoian’s household gave another $9,950 through 2020. His only other federal contributions in recent years went to former Republican Sen. Martha McSally of Arizona, a retired Air Force colonel and former pilot.

— Schiff channeled $1 million to Tanner Research Inc. of Monrovia for detecting IEDs. CEO John Tanner donated $15,800 to him from 2003 to 2012.

— Schiff got an $800,000 earmark for Orbits Lightwave Inc. for an ultra stable coherent laser project. Yaakov Shevy, Orbits Lightwave’s co-founder and president, donated $2,500 to him over his time in Congress and executive Katrin Saroukhanian gave $1,200 from 2007 to 2010.

— Schiff also secured $492,000 for Superprotonic for solid acid fuel cell research. Co-founder Calum Chisholm of Pasadena and executive Sami Mardini of Duarte combined to donate $1,500 to Schiff in 2007 and 2008.

POLITICO could not analyze many of Schiff’s earmarks or possible corresponding donations because the public record of dollars that flowed to companies is extremely limited.

Schiff’s campaign declined to provide the list of earmarks from between 2001 and 2007, contending they didn’t have one.

Schiff refused a Los Angeles Daily News request to reveal his projects when pressed in 2007.

Meanwhile, Schiff has still not produced any of the evidence he claimed to have against President Donald Trump while pursuing the Russia Hoax.

READ MORE: Adam Schiff: Republican ‘Falsehoods’ Are ‘Putting People’s Lives at Risk’

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By Frank Bergman

Frank Bergman is a political/economic journalist living on the east coast. Aside from news reporting, Bergman also conducts interviews with researchers and material experts and investigates influential individuals and organizations in the sociopolitical world.

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