Trump Campaign ‘Laundering’ Campaign Finance Money, Election Watchdog Says
A complaint to be filed with the Federal Election Commission Tuesday by the nonpartisan Campaign Legal Center asserts that the Trump campaign and its joint fundraising committee with the R.N.C., the Trump Make America Great Again Committee, have violated federal election reporting requirements. The Campaign Legal Center’s complaint asserts, however, that the Trump-aligned firms merely “serve as conduits that receive millions in payments from the campaign and disburse the funds to the campaign’s ultimate vendors, thereby concealing the campaign’s transactions with those vendors. Trevor Potter, the president of the Campaign Legal Center—a Republican and a former chairman of the FEC said that Trump team’s network is able to hide exactly how they are operating and who they are paying. “The Trump campaign is violating the law,” Potter, who was appointed to the FEC in 1991 by George H.W. Bush and served as general counsel to John McCain’s 2000 and 2008 presidential campaigns, said. “They are hiding information they are required to provide to the public.” Potter, when pressed on how other federal campaigns have pushed the boundaries of election law in the recent past, argued that the Trump campaign’s structure “is not normal” in either scale or brazenness. Brendan Fischer, the director of federal reform at the Campaign Legal Center, said it’s possible that the Trump campaign could be filtering even larger sums of money to Trump-related companies than has been previously reported—and that the campaign could be rerouting expenditures to avoid the bad press of having more self-serving spending come into view. According to the Campaign Legal Center’s research, led by senior researcher Margaret Christ, neither the Biden campaign nor the campaigns of Trump’s predecessor, Barack Obama, have engaged in similar obfuscation.
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