Hungarian left accused of treason for accepting US campaign money to remove Orbán from power

Budapest MAyor Gergely Karácsony (R) and his former advisor Dávid Korányi (L), who is supposed to have been the key figure in channeling foreign funds to the Hungarian left.
By Dénes Albert
3 Min Read

A private Hungarian citizen filed a complaint with both Hungarian police and prosecutorial authorities after a former CIA analyst went public with a statement that the CIA attempted to interfere in the 2022 Hungarian elections and remove Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán from power.

Former analyst Larry C. Johnson said in a podcast at the beginning of September, “It is interesting that although in 2016 the Americans were deeply outraged by the alleged Russian interference in the U.S. presidential election campaign, in 2022 we directly interfered in the Hungarian elections, which Viktor Orbán won again.”

Asked whether the CIA intervened to stop Orbán, Johnson, said “Yes, to defeat him, which, among other things, America was trying to achieve by funding Orbán’s opponents.”

Private Hungarian citizen István Tényi wrote to the police and the prosecutor’s office that they should investigate whether the crime of treason could be suspected against Hungarian citizens who, through the Action for Democracy foundation, may have been involved in influencing the parliamentary elections through a foreign government or organization.

Remix News reported on the funding scandal last year, in which Hungary’s leading left-liberal opposition candidate, Péter Márki-Zay, admitted himself in August 2022, during his podcast Gulyáságyú (Goulash Cannon), that his campaign was still receiving funds from the U.S. foundation Action for Democracy. The shadowy group sent HUF 1.8 billion (€4.48 million) in mostly U.S. donations through an NGO with close ties to billionaire oligarch George Soros, officials connected with Hillary Clinton, and a number of leading transatlantic organizations such as the Council on Foreign Relations.

Márki-Zay revealed that Action for Democracy, which is headed by Dávid Korányi, a former adviser to Gergely Karácsony, sent the money in one batch, but he claimed that other transfers had also come from this organization in the past.

Since then, a new declassified intelligence document has come to light, revealing that there is not one but two major foreign donors to the “dollar left,” which is the term increasingly used within the Hungarian media. In addition to the American Action for Democracy, a Swiss foundation has also transferred nearly HUF 1 billion. The Swiss transfers were made in five installments from the beginning of the left-wing primaries, between September 2021 and February 2022.

Open investigations have also been launched in the above cases, with the police investigating the misuse of personal data and the National Tax and Customs Administration (NAV) looking into budget fraud. The National Bureau of Investigation (NNI) launched an investigation into money laundering and embezzlement as well, which has since been taken over by the tax authorities.

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