Watchdog Groups File FEC Complaint Over NRA Coordination With Trump Campaign

The Trace

Following reporting by The Trace, the Campaign Legal Center and Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence filed a complaint on Friday with the Federal Election Commission calling for an investigation into the National Rifle Association’s apparently illegal coordination with the Trump campaign during the 2016 presidential election.


The report prompted Campaign Legal Center, an election watchdog, and Giffords Law Center, the legal arm of Gabby Giffords’s gun reform group, to file the complaint on Friday. “If the same people buying ads for the Trump campaign are also placing the NRA’s pro-Trump ads, then the NRA’s spending is not at all independent,” said Brendan Fischer, director of the federal reform program at Campaign Legal Center, in a statement. The CLC previously filed two FEC complaints against the NRA in the fall after The Trace reported that the gun group appeared to be funneling much of its 2018 election spending through a possible shell company that’s identical to a firm used by GOP Senate candidates.

“The NRA and Trump campaign might claim that their media buyers established firewalls,” Fischer said, referring to the agreements campaign vendors employ to comply with laws against sharing information. “But it is impossible for an employee to create a firewall in his or her brain.”

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