A Campaign Legal Center (CLC) complaint filed with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) in September 2020 has apparently led the FBI to investigate Postmaster General Louis DeJoy’s political fundraising activities, according to an article from The Washington Post published on June 3, 2021.
Last year, CLC uncovered several instances between 2015 and 2018 where DeJoy employees and DeJoy family members contributed to the same candidate or committee during the same period of time, often in similar amounts.
The individual political contributions in question were then allegedly reimbursed by the company in the form of bonuses. Reimbursing political contributions violates federal campaign finance law.
The Washington Post had earlier reported that, through 2014, there was a similar scheme in place and former employees at DeJoy’s company also allegedly received bonuses as reimbursement for their political contributions, but the activities arguably fell outside of the 5-year statute of limitations.
Louis DeJoy's reimbursement scheme disguised the true source of potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars in contributions, which denied voters the right to know who is giving money to influence their vote and our government.
These are serious violations, and it is good that CLC's research and complaint triggered the Department of Justice to investigate.
However, this is yet another example of the Department of Justice taking the lead on investigating campaign finance violations, rather than the FEC, the only government agency whose sole responsibility is overseeing the integrity of political campaigns.
This is the second reported FBI investigation apparently triggered by a CLC complaint in recent weeks. The FBI is also investigating a defense contractor's illegal contribution to a super PAC that supported Susan Collins' election, following a 2020 CLC complaint.
We need a stronger FEC to enforce campaign finance laws and hold political candidates and their donors accountable.