FPI / January 14, 2020
By Judicial Watch
Another influential group aiming to spread the radical global agenda of leftist billionaire George Soros has popped up in the United States.
It’s called the Transatlantic Democracy Working Group (TDWG) and it is an offshoot of the Soros-funded German Marshall Fund, a liberal foreign policy think tank based in Washington D.C. The TDWG is operated by dozens of former senior government bureaucrats, national security experts and human rights advocates, including former Obama administration officials and staff members of Democratic politicians.
The group’s director, Susan Corke, was previously Deputy Director of the Europe Section in the State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor. Corke is a registered Democrat and all her federally reported campaign contributions have gone to the Democratic fundraising clearinghouse Act Blue, which has raised billions.
Obama’s law school classmate, Norm Eisen, is the co-chair of the TDWG’s steering committee. Eisen also served as the deputy counsel of Obama’s presidential transition team and ambassador to the Czech Republic. During President Donald Trump’s impeachment inquiry, Eisen, a longtime Trump critic, served as counsel to the House Judiciary Committee. In 2003 he co-founded the liberal nonprofit Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) with fellow Democratic operative Melanie Sloan and others. Eisen has contributed approximately $94,000 to Democratic candidates and committees through the years, according to records obtained by Judicial Watch.
The TDWG was founded in April 2018 purportedly to combat what it perceives as “democratic erosion in key NATO and EU countries.” The organization, which is housed at the German Marshall Fund headquarters, advocates for strengthening the NATO alliance, increasing integration among European Union member states, a more active U.S. role in Europe, and effective measures against Russia’s influence in the West. The group has been highly critical of the Trump administration’s foreign policy and has used its podcast to promote Soros’ Open Society Foundations.
A chunk of the TDWG’s attention has focused on three countries — Hungary, Poland, and Turkey — that it accuses of becoming increasingly authoritarian and undemocratic. While legitimate concerns exist involving the Recep Tayyip Erdoğan regime in Turkey, the group’s criticisms of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and Poland’s governing Prawo i Sprawiedliwość (Law and Justice) party largely focus on efforts to preserve their national identity, reduce the influence of foreign governments and nongovernmental organizations in their domestic affairs and limit third-world immigration. In November 2019 testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia, Energy, and the Environment, Corke claimed that, “Hungary is no longer a democracy, and Orbán is the architect of its transformation into an illiberal autocracy.”
Of particular interest to the TDWG have been Hungarian and Polish initiatives to combat the influence of Soros and his generously funded OSF. One of the policy statements posted on the TDWG’s website specifically deals with Orbán’s successful effort to expel Soros’ Central European University from Budapest. The statement, whose signatories include Corke, Eisen, and several former State Department officials, alleges that Hungary’s, “campaign against the CEU is a highly symbolic move against a vital institution founded to promote the transatlantic values of democracy, openness, and equality of opportunity.” In her November 2019 Congressional testimony, Corke claimed that Orbán, “relied on one tired trick in particular, one that served as a dog whistle for the far right; he used the spectral image of George Soros, using anti-Semitic tropes, as the ultimate bogeyman to stir up fear of migrants and other non-Christians.” Orbán counters that it has nothing to do with Soros’ religion or background. It’s about his politically driven activity aimed at undermining national governments that oppose his pro-migration agenda. The Hungarian prime minister assures a migration crisis in the Balkans was organized by the Soros network.
Soros’ OSF donated between $100,000 and $250,000 to the German Marshall Fund in 2019, records obtained by Judicial Watch show.