News & Politics

State Democratic Parties Accused of 'Unprecedented' Conspiracy to Violate Campaign Laws

Hillary Clinton receives Democratic Woman of the Year Award.

A federal lawsuit filed by the Federal Election Commission alleges “an unprecedented, massive, nationwide multi-million dollar conspiracy”involving 40 state Democratic parties that illegally funneled $84 million into the Hillary Clinton campaign for president in 2016.

New York Post: 

A federal lawsuit says the Clinton team and the Democratic National Committee went around campaign finance laws by pouring money into state parties that then sent the funds back to the DNC to help Clinton, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.

The Committee to Defend the President, a pro-President Trump PAC, first filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission in December. But the authorities didn’t take action before a required deadline, the group’s campaign finance attorney, who filed the federal lawsuit, told the Review-Journal.

The FEC complaint alleges “an unprecedented, massive, nationwide multi-million dollar conspiracy” in which Dems and Clinton’s camp were “effectively laundering nearly all contributions” given to the Hillary Victory Fund.

That fund is a so-called joint fundraising committee that allowed Clinton to raise money for her campaign and local state parties simultaneously. Possible due to looser campaign finance rules, this type of fund meant Clinton could raise $350,000 or more from a single rich donor.

Backer said most money raised for state parties by the Hillary Victory Fund were then passed back to the DNC and on to Clinton’s campaign.

How very clever of them. Not that it mattered — Clinton lost.

The scheme was designed to circumvent campaign contribution limits, said Dan Backer, a Virginia campaign finance attorney who filed the lawsuit. Backer represents the Committee to Defend the President, a pro-Donald Trump political action committee that first filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission in December.

“You had individuals giving $300,000,” Backer said Friday. “They’re not doing it because they care about Nevada’s or Arkansas’ state party. They’re doing it to curry favor with and buy influence with Hillary Clinton.”

Backer said the FEC failed to take action before a required deadline, prompting the lawsuit. Up to 40 state parties could be involved in $84 million worth of money transfers, Backer said.

“This is nothing more than a bogus political stunt feebly designed to distract from vulnerable Republicans’ disastrous agenda,” said Nevada Democratic Party spokeswoman Helen Kalla.

“Political stunt” by the bipartisan FEC?

According to records provided by Backer, the Hillary Victory Fund reported transferring more than $1.7 million to the Nevada Democratic Party between December 2015 and November 2016. But the party only reported receiving $146,200, which it transferred to the DNC.

The remaining $1.6 million was sent by the Hillary Victory Fund to the Nevada party and received by the DNC and never appeared on the Nevada party’s reports, Backer said.

Campaign finance laws are ludicrous, but both sides have to abide by them. It’s not surprising that it took a lawsuit by Trump supporters to pry this information from the FEC and get them to lodge a legal complaint.

Recall that the Obama campaign received millions of dollars from overseas. Many of those donations were below the $200 limit that would have required their information be reported to the FEC. The campaign was eventually fined $375,000 — after the election was won, of course.

Expect a similar slap on the wrist for the Hillary campaign.