This interesting article published by the Alliance for Securing Democracy is by Josh Rudolph:
In his push for bipartisan efforts on voting rights legislation, Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) warned that “the lack of transparency in many campaign finance rules provides multiple avenues for foreign and national adversaries to meddle in the American political system.” These loopholes might be called the “adversarial avenues” of malign finance. Manchin went on to explain that this is why he supports two campaign finance provisions included within the For the People Act (S. 1): The DISCLOSE Act and the Honest Ads Act.
Manchin is absolutely right. The most comprehensive research on covert foreign money classified by legal avenue more than 100 cases—adding up to more than $300 million over the past decade—of authoritarian regimes such as Russia and China funneling money into democratic processes as a geopolitical weapon. Strikingly, 83 percent of this activity was enabled by seven legal loopholes that were identified in this research and are now being actively tackled by the European Parliament. Two of those seven vulnerabilities would be addressed by DISCLOSE and Honest Ads, which would impose financial transparency on “dark money” non-profits and online political ads, respectively.
But foreign powers do not stop there. As President George Washington warned in his farewell address, they bring “insidious wiles” to their tradecraft of foreign influence. Autocrats invent and exploit cunning ways to secure political power, devising creative tricks to interfere in elections at home and abroad, often through some degree of legal participation by people within the target country. Indeed, a recent U.S. intelligence assessment found that in the 2020 election the Kremlin’s main innovation since 2016 was more collaboration with U.S.-based conduits. That is why, in addition to Thomas Morley’s and my year-long research project on malign finance, Jessica Brandt and I worked with a bipartisan team of legal experts to develop legislative proposals that would outlaw U.S. participation in foreign interference.