Election Watchdog Accuses Donald Trump's Campaign Team Of Laundering $170 Million In Campaign Money

Election Watchdog Accuses Donald Trump’s Campaign Team Of Laundering $170 Million In Campaign Money

A new complaint has been filed with the Federal Election Commission against Donald Trump’s campaign team. It alleges that the Trump campaign and its partnering fundraising committee with the R.N.C., the Trump Make America Great Again Committee, has violated federal election reporting requirements by laundering almost $170 million in election spending through firms overseen by a senior campaign official.

The complaint specifically, alleges that his campaign is not aligned with “an anti-corruption provision” of the Federal Election Campaign Act, which states that campaigns must release the name and address of every person or corporate entity to which expenditure in surplus of $200 is made, “together with the date, amount, and purpose” of those expenditures.

The senior campaign official over the firm which the spending is alleged to have been sent to is Brad Parscale, Trump’s recent campaign manager.

Republican and a former chairman of the F.E.C., Trevor Potter, told VICE News:

“The Trump campaign is violating the law. They are hiding information they are required to provide to the public.”

According to documents, the firms serve as channels “that receive millions in payments from the campaign and [distributes] the funds to the campaign’s ultimate vendors, thereby [hiding] the campaign’s transactions with those vendors.” Information made available shows that the vendors are working under the campaign’s leadership and assisting the campaign in its efforts rather than Parscale’s conduit firms.

Craig Holman, an expert on campaign finance states:

“The first thing that comes to mind is: Why are they not disclosing this? I would immediately suspect that it’s because this money is being allocated to places it should not be allocated to. At over a 100 million dollars, this isn’t poor record-keeping.”

The document continues that such schemes have reportedly allowed for millions of dollars in payments to companies doing business with Trump’s campaign, his family members, and senior campaign staff members Lara Trump and Kimberly Guilfoyle.

By not reporting the payments to the campaign’s real vendors and staff, Trumps’ reelection team and fundraising committee have reportedly violated and continue to go against the federal law’s transparency requirements.

In a statement given to VICE News, Tim Murtaugh, the communications director for Trump’s reelection campaign, did not directly acknowledge the allegations brought against the election team. Instead, it said that the campaign “complies with all campaign finance laws and F.E.C. regulations.”

The firm in question, American Made Media Consultants, is reported to be Trump’s largest recipient of his campaign spending. According to the Campaign Legal Center’s analysis, it has accounted for 40-60 percent of Trump’s campaign spending thus far in the 2020 election cycle.

To that information, Murtaugh said:

“AMMC is a campaign vendor responsible for arranging and executing media buys and related services at fair market value. AMMC does not earn any commissions or fees. It builds efficiencies and saves the campaign money by providing these in-house services that otherwise would be done by outside vendors. The campaign reports all payments to AMMC as required by the F.E.C.”

However, Potter argued that the Trump campaign’s structure is abnormal “in either scale or brazenness.”

“I can say I’ve never seen numbers like this. This percentage of spending, which is essentially off the books, is unprecedented.”

He continued:

“The people, either the press or any citizen who wants to look at F.E.C. reports, should not have to play Sherlock Holmes and put together a web of outside information—and by its nature speculation—to figure out where this is going. That’s the campaign’s job.”

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