Trump accused of ‘Brazen’ campaign finance breach a day before slated 2024 launch

A day before his scheduled 2024 announcement, former President Donald Trump was hit Monday with a campaign finance lawsuit that accuses him of illegally transferring a “colossal sum” of money from his PAC leadership to a super PAC that spent millions on this year’s midterm elections. — and is well positioned to spend millions more on Trump’s presidential bid.

The Campaign Legal Center (CLC), the watchdog that filed the complaintalleges Trump ‘directed transfer’ of $20 million last month from treasury head of PAC Save America at Make America Great Again, Inc.which poured nearly $12 million into the midterm elections to boost pro-Trump candidates.

“By pumping this ‘soft money’ into a federal election, Trump broke the law, and the FEC must act.”

MAGA, Inc., through its super PAC status, is legally able to spend unlimited sums support or oppose political campaigns.

The CLC said the $20 million transfer, disclosed in a recent Federal Election Commission (FEC) depositamounts to a “brazen attempt to circumvent fundraising restrictions that apply to federal candidates, which are essential to preventing corruption and its occurrence”.

Specifically, the CLC’s complaint argues that this decision violates provisions of the Federal Election Campaign Act prohibiting candidates and office holders from spending unregulated “soft money” on the federal election.

“Because Trump was a federal nominee when his PAC leadership contributed $20 million to a super PAC that was actively spending midway through 2022 and is about to spend again in the 2024 cycle, he and Save America flagrantly violated soft money prohibitions,” the CLC noted. in a press release.

Trevor Potter, chairman of the CLC, said in a statement that “when federal candidates evade campaign finance laws designed to maintain transparency and fight corruption, they undermine our electoral system and damage voter confidence. “.

“Former President Trump made it clear months ago, through his statements and actions, that he was running for president again in 2024, long before his leadership PAC, Save America, donated $20 million. dollars to a super PAC that then spent over $11 million on the 2022 midterm,” Potter said. “By pumping this ‘soft money’ into a federal election, Trump broke the law, and the FEC must act.”

According OpenSecrets, the Save America PAC has raised over $107 million and spent over $68 million since its inception following the 2020 presidential election.

In a blog post On Monday, CLC’s Saurav Ghosh noted that “recent developments appear to indicate that the remaining $39 million in Save America funds will be used as a war chest for Trump’s 2024 presidential campaign.”

“To date, MAGA Inc. has spent more than $11.9 million in independent spending to help elect Trump-backed candidates nationwide,” Ghosh wrote. “The problem is that Save America’s contribution [to MAGA Inc.]as well as MAGA Inc. spending the money to influence the 2022 midterm elections, violated federal law and pumped a huge amount of soft money into our federal elections.

“Trump was already a federal candidate when Save America gave MAGA Inc. the $20 million, far more than the $5,000 a year that a leadership PAC like Save America can legally contribute to another committee,” added Ghosh. “Trump is public statements show that in early 2022 he had decided to run for president and was simply delaying announcing that decision to avoid campaign finance rules for federal candidates. And he clearly raised and spent well over $5,000 via Save America to advance his candidacy. »

The CLC isn’t alone in sounding the alarm over Trump’s campaign fundraising activity ahead of the official launch of his 2024 White House bid.

Paul S. Ryan, campaign finance attorney and deputy executive director of the Funders Committee for Civic Participation, Told The daily beast late last month that “the only thing Trump can’t do with the millions and millions of dollars he’s raised for his PAC leadership is support himself.”

So, Ryan said, “the only plausible explanation” for Save America’s transfer to MAGA, Inc. “is to convert that money to be spent on its own campaign.”

“Moving the money suggests he wants to spend it on himself,” Ryan added. “It’s illegal, but that seems to be the motivation and he’ll probably get away with it.”

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