Posted by Curt on 10 September, 2019 at 1:16 pm. 1 comment.


Elizabeth Warren is a staunch critic of Palantir Technologies over the Silicon Valley firm’s software contract with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, but her presidential campaign collected a total of $900 from three employees of the company.

John Blessing, Marvel Church, and Alex Mark each gave the Massachusetts senator between $150 and $500 from April to June. Mark and Blessing are both Palantir Technologies engineers, while Church is listed as an “operations executive” in Federal Election Commission filings. The trio, who haven’t infringed any campaign finance regulations, also contributed to other Democratic organizations and causes, including Church, who donated $400 to South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg.

Palantir Technologies, co-founded by billionaire Trump supporter and adviser Peter Thiel, has been slammed by pro-immigration and civil liberties groups for reportedly providing software that’s been integral to ICE’s crackdown on illegal immigration. The data analytics firm, however, has tried to distance itself from the claims.

Although the Palantir Technologies-linked money represents a small fraction of the $19.1 million Warren hauled in during the three-month fundraising period, it’s a markedly different approach to the company by the Harvard Law School professor and Wall Street critic. When asked during a Working Families Party endorsement question-and-answer session last month whether she would probe Palantir for its role as “the tech backbone for ICE,” Warren said, “The answer is yes.”

“While we’re still within the statute of limitations, I will have a Justice Department that will investigate crime,” said the senator, 70. “It is against the law right now in America to assault an immigrant, to sexual assault an immigrant child, to deny someone healthcare that they need. While the current president, Donald Trump, may be willing to look the other way, when I’m president, I will not and I will investigate those crimes. I will also investigate corporations that commit crimes.”

A spokeswoman for Warren’s campaign for the 2020 Democratic nomination didn’t immediately respond to the Washington Examiner‘s request for comment. The candidate’s White House bid is based on what she’s called a “grassroots movement,” shunning donors who attend exclusive, private fundraisers, as well as political action committees and federally registered lobbyists, in favor of small-dollar contributors during the primary contest. This tactic comes after courting big money supporters prior to announcing her candidacy.

Yet an aide working for a rival camp said, “Democrats don’t need a nominee who is going to rail against a rigged system while collecting checks from some of the worst offenders.”

“Ending a system that privileges billionaires at the expense of working people begins when candidates start living the values they preach,” the staffer said.

This is not the first time Warren has come under scrutiny for accepting money from employees of companies she’s targeted. As president, she’s vowed to break up tech giants like Amazon, Google, and Facebook, but in September of last year she received a $2,700 donation from Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s COO and author of Lean In. Sandberg’s contribution is part of an at least $90,000 sum the senator collected from workers at the tech firms between 2011 and 2018. Although the donors were intending to give to her Senate reelection race, unused funds were transferred to her White House run coffers.

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