Investigation reveals Obama State Dept knowingly funneled cash to Obama-connected political consultant despite being told it was illegal, destroyed evidence

The Obama administration spent $350,000.00 in U.S. taxpayer funds on an illegal effort to defeat Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, funneling the cash through an Obama-connected political consultant.

That’s according to a bipartisan report issued by a Senate committee.

The funds were supposed to be used to support peace negotiations, but were instead handed over to a political group working for Netanyahu’s opponent in Israel’s 2015 elections.

“Within days after the grant period ended, however, the group deployed the campaign infrastructure and resources created, in part, using U.S. grant funds to support a political campaign to defeat the incumbent Israeli government known as V15,” the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations reports.

The Washington Examiner reports:

Some $350,000 was sent to OneVoice, ostensibly to support the group’s efforts to back Israeli-Palestinian peace settlement negotiations. But OneVoice used the money to build a voter database, train activists and hire a political consulting firm with ties to President Obama’s campaign — all of which set the stage for an anti-Netanyahu campaign, the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations said in a bipartisan staff report.

In one stunning finding, the subcommittee said OneVoice even told the State Department’s top diplomat in Jerusalem of its plans in an email, but the official, Consul General Michael Ratney, claims never to have seen them.

State Department officials are saying their spending wasn’t illegal because no one specifically told them to not break the law.

The State Department’s defense against these claims of their illegal spending mirrors the same defense Hillary Clinton claims in her email scandal – that you can’t have a crime unless someone specifically states in writing they intend to break the law.

Further taking cue from the former Secretary of State, Michael Ratney says he can’t be held accountable for the illegal activity because he deleted the emails notifying him about his illegal activity – which is also in violation of the law which requires him to archive those emails.

“The State Department ignored warnings signs and funded a politically active group in a politically sensitive environment with inadequate safeguards,” said Senator Rob Portman, chairman of the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations.

“It is completely unacceptable that U.S. taxpayer dollars were used to build a political campaign infrastructure that was deployed — immediately after the grant ended — against the leader of our closest ally in the Middle East.  American resources should be used to help our allies in the region, not undermine them,” said Portman.