Pro-Trump Megadonors Look to Cash In On Trump’s Plan to Undercut Russian Energy

The Daily Beast

We’ve been closely following Global Energy Producers LLC and its huge donation to pro-Trump super PAC America First Action in May, and have now received information indicating the company is looking to cash in on one of President Donald Trump’s major new economic and foreign-policy initiatives.

“Based on published reports, complainants have reason to believe that any person(s) who created, operated, and/or contributed to Blue Magnolia or Highway 76 may have violated” federal election law, alleges the Campaign Legal Center, the good-government group that filed the complaint, “by making contributions to DefendArizona in the name of another person.”

Groups like the Campaign Legal Center are forced to rely on the public record to try to determine whether a corporate donor is a legitimate, operating company, or simply a shell created to mask a donor’s identity. Brendan Fischer, CLC’s director of federal and FEC reform programs, said the telltale sign is whether “an LLC with no public footprint makes a big donation to a super PAC shortly after its creation.”

Investigations into such companies might determine that they are in fact legitimate business operations. But at the very least, Fischer said, the FEC has signaled that it will pursue such investigations. “Donors who want to stay anonymous might be gambling that the FEC's Republican commissioners were not serious when they said they'll be enforcing the law moving forward,” he said. “We’ll see if they are right.”