Path Cleared for CLC Lawsuit Over FEC Inaction on Illegal Coordination by Clinton Campaign

Washington, D.C. – In a win for transparency, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has cleared a path for a lawsuit brought by Campaign Legal Center (CLC) to challenge the failure of the Federal Election Commission (FEC) to take action against a massive coordination scheme between the 2016 presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton and Correct the Record (CTR), a super PAC created by David Brock that was notorious for its efforts to “push back against” Clinton’s critics online.

The D.C. Circuit reversed a 2020 decision by U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to dismiss the case for lack of standing, ruling that CLC could proceed because it has been deprived of complete and accurate “factual information about the amounts of the contested coordinated, in-kind contributions” the super PAC gave the campaign as a result of the coordination scheme.

“The refusal of the Federal Election Commission to enforce campaign finance laws creates a pathway for secret campaign giving – this its failure to hold the Clinton campaign and this super PAC accountable for $9 million in coordinated spending sets a dangerous precedent that could be replicated by other campaigns,” said Tara Malloy, senior director of appellate litigation & strategy, at CLC. “It is time for the FEC to do its job and hold political campaigns and their donors accountable."

This decision is an important step toward closing this loophole that otherwise could allow millions of dollars of undisclosed contributions to flow from purportedly independent super PACs to federal candidates.

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