Campaign Legal Center Files Lawsuit Against the FEC for Failure to Enforce the Law in Light of Violations by the Trump Campaign

CLC’s underlying complaint alleges that the Trump campaign violated federal campaign finance law by funneling payments to staff and vendors through firms affiliated with the campaign, hiding the details of those payments from the public.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Campaign Legal Center (CLC) sued the Federal Election Commission (FEC) after the Commission unlawfully failed to act for over 20 months on an administrative complaint CLC filed against the campaign committees of former President Donald Trump.

Federal law requires candidates for federal office and their authorized campaign committees to disclose their spending, including the names of payees and the amount, date and purpose of each expenditure. By routing payments to undisclosed subvendors through two firms — American Made Media Consultants (AMMC) and Parscale Strategy — the Trump campaign denied voters essential information about where it was spending its money. The FEC’s inability to hold the campaign accountable for such a blatant violation of federal law is just the latest example of the agency failing to do its job.

“The repeated failure of the FEC to enforce campaign finance laws has resulted in an explosion of secret spending, and as a result, our politics are increasingly rigged in favor of special interests,” said Trevor Potter, president of CLC and a Republican former Chairman of the FEC. “The law here is clear: voters have a right to know whom a campaign is paying and how much and for what they are being paid. This is vital knowledge for those looking to make informed decisions when evaluating candidates and their messages.”

Seeking to remedy violations of federal campaign finance law, CLC filed an initial complaint in July 2020 and supplemented it in January 2021, drawing evidence from media reports and public records to detail the way in which both AMMC and Parscale Strategy functioned as conduits through which the Trump campaign paid undisclosed vendors and staff.

These allegations warranted a prompt response by the FEC but instead resulted in yet another failure by the FEC – the only government agency whose sole responsibility is overseeing the integrity of our political campaigns – to do its job.

CLC has, once again, been compelled to take legal action against the FEC to ensure voters have access to the information they are entitled to by federal law.   

At Campaign Legal Center, we are advancing democracy through law. Learn more about our work.