FORNEY, Texas — Following a request by Congressman Lance Gooden, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has referred an investigation into alleged foreign interference of the Presidential election by "green" groups to the Department of Justice (DOJ), the Gooden campaign and EPA confirmed today.
On October 8, 2020, Gooden, who represents Texas' 5th District, penned a letter to EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler requesting an investigation into potential alleged efforts by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and Russia to influence American politics through environmental groups.
"I respectfully request that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) conduct a swift and thorough investigation into foreign influence, financial involvement, and election interference by a number of environmental groups in the United States, including the Sea Change Foundation, the Sierra Club, and the Sunrise Movement," reads, in part, Gooden's October 8th email. "Based on information recently brought to my attention, I believe there is considerable evidence of foreign interference in our government, perpetrated through environmental groups like these taking shelter behind the non-profit status of donor anonymity."
"If this is true, they are giving the enemy an avenue to covertly influence our politics," read a statement from Gooden. "It's unacceptable and we must hold them accountable."
Earlier today, Wheeler released a letter in response to Gooden's request and stated, "We take this matter seriously which is why we have referred it to the DOJ."
"Given heightened concern that foreign countries, primarily China and Russia, are potentially funding U.S.-based 'green' groups to undermine American energy independence and to help maintain the integrity of the EPA's decision-making, EPA will refer this matter to the DOJ FARA [Foreign Agents Registration Act] Unit," Wheeler's letter stated, in part. "The DOJ can then determine what appropriate steps to take, if any, including whether those entities should be registered as a foreign agent."
My letter in response to concerns of covert foreign influence through “green” groups raised by @Lancegooden. We take this matter seriously which is why we have referred it to DOJ. pic.twitter.com/qaoMV2XCcw— EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler (@EPAAWheeler) October 26, 2020