Schumer’s Senate Campaign ‘Funded’ By Companies ‘Linked’ To Russian Nord Stream 2 Pipeline

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is running for reelection this year. His campaign has received contributions from affiliates of two corporations that have funded Russia’s Nord Stream 2 Pipeline project. Republicans have criticized Schumer’s efforts to block sanctions on the pipeline project.

According to Federal Election Commission public records, the Schumer campaign received contributions from ENGIE North America and BASF Corporation. Corporations with ownership interests in those contributors are part of a consortium created to finance the construction of Nord Stream 2. The pipeline is designed to transport natural gas from Russia to Germany.

Joe Biden has made public statements describing the pipeline project as a “geopolitical threat” to Europe but has waived official sanctions on the project. As Republicans have consistently called for sanctions on the pipeline to be enforced, the White House and Senate Democrats have resisted.

Schumer has acted as the majority leader to block sanctions bills presented by Republicans. This month, he made a deal with Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) to allow a vote on sanctions to proceed in exchange for Cruz removing blocks on some State Department nominees.

The bill received 55 votes on the floor but was blocked by Senate Democrats who invoked the filibuster rule that requires 60 votes to advance the measure. Democrats used the filibuster rule they had demonized in the fight over their move to federalize elections and said they wanted to have the sanctions as a “last resort” in the event of a Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The consortium financing Nord Stream 2 has spent millions of dollars on top lobbying firms in its effort to block the sanctions. One of the group’s lobbyists is Vincent Roberti, who made maximum donations to Schumer and several other Senate Democrats in this election cycle. Thomas McLarty is another Nord Stream 2 lobbyist who has donated to the Schumer campaign.

Europe is divided over the pipeline project. Germany supports Nord Stream 2, as it will receive cheap natural gas direct from Russia through the pipeline. Eastern European countries like Ukraine and Poland oppose the project, as it will bypass their countries and cause the loss of substantial revenue from energy transfer fees.