The long list of corrupt activities sanctioned by the Trump team just got a little longer. HuffPost reports that the Campaign Legal Center, a watchdog organization, filed a complaint today alleging that the Trump campaign is breaking federal election law by using several private companies to covertly divert hundreds of billions of dollars to individuals with close personal relationships with Trump family members.
The Campaign Legal Center requests that the FEC look into the matters with an eye towards immediately ending any improper behavior and levying finds accordingly.
“The money is being laundered through corporations run by top Trump campaign officials. That has the effect of keeping the public in the dark as to a big chunk of Trump campaign spending,” explained Brendan Fischer, an attorney for the Campaign Legal Center.
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“This scheme violated the law and undermines the public’s right to know. What precisely is being hidden is unknown. We don’t know for sure,” Fischer added.
The watchdogs allege that Trump’s reelection campaign, working in tandem with the “Trump Make America Great Again Committee,” has been funneling money to companies run by Brad Parscale, the former Trump campaign manager who was demoted last month as well as to American Made Media Consultants, a campaign ad company.
So far, Parscale’s companies have been juiced with at least $39 million in campaign dollars since 2017. Reportedly, one of the reasons Trump fired him as campaigner manager was because he was angry that Parscale was making so much money for himself, allowing him to buy new numerous new houses and luxury items. AMMC has received at least $177.6 million.
Suspiciously, the expenditures include paying out $180,000 a year to Donald Trump Jr.’s girlfriend Kimberly Guilfoyle as well as to Eric Trump’s wife Lara Trump. Parscale told Huffpost he can make such payments if he chooses to do so.
The Trump campaign is predictably pushing back against the allegations of impropriety and equally predictably, their argument is completely unconvincing.
“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,” claimed Tim Murtaugh, Communications Director for the Trump campaign.
“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 FEC,” Murtaugh went on.
In their complaint, the Campaign Legal Center explains that the Trump campaign’s failure to meticulously itemize its money disbursals flies in the face of older FEC rulings because Parscale is personally involved in the firms being paid. As such, greater transparency is legally required to ensure that campaign contributions aren’t vanishing down an unaccountable financial black hole.
At this point, given what we know about this president and the kind of people he attracts to his team, it would be far more surprising if there weren’t a complex system of shadowy companies corruptly laundering money for the benefit of campaign insiders. Hopefully, Parscale and his cronies are held accountable for their actions but in the meantime, there’s a simple way to ensure your money doesn’t end up being used to buy Parscale a new boat: don’t donate to Trump.
#BREAKING: We just filed an @FEC complaint alleging the Trump campaign secretly hid the ultimate recipients of nearly $170 million in spending. Unlawful secrecy is unacceptable for any presidential campaign; our transparency laws must be enforced. https://t.co/EZu1wtoYmK
— Campaign Legal Center (@CampaignLegal) July 28, 2020
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