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Posts tagged ‘Federal Election Commission (FEC)’

Media Celebrate Trump Mishandling $280k. Forget Obama Mishandled $88 Million.


Reported By Kara Pendleton | August 22, 2018 at

12:44pm

Another day, another “we’ve got him now. No, really, we’ve really, truly, madly, deeply got him, now!” series of headlines from the establishment media about President Donald Trump.

This time the focus is on campaign finance.

And once again, voters are left to their own devices to figure out what the truth really is and if there actually is a crime involved. Add to that the way the establishment media addressed the topic when President Barack Obama was involved in similar “scandals,” and you have more evidence as to why the establishment media outlets are so often called “fake news.”

The latest “Get Trump” establishment media feeding frenzy stems from a plea deal made by Trump’s former attorney, Michael Cohen. On Tuesday, Cohen pleaded guilty to eight criminal charges against him, including two alleged campaign finance violations. One involved a payment of $130,000 in 2016 from then-candidate Trump to porn star Stormy Daniels. The other involved coordinating a $150,000 payment by the National Enquirer’s publisher to former Playboy model Karen McDougal, according to The Wall Street Journal.

A great breakdown of the situation comes from radio and television personality Mark Levin, who is also a lawyer and worked in the Justice Department during the Reagan administration.

Appearing on “Hannity,” Levin offered his “help to the “the law professors, the constitutional experts, the criminal defense lawyers, the former prosecutors, and of course the professors” in regards to “what the law is” surrounding the campaign finance issue and Michael Cohen plea deal.

“The general counsel for the Clinton Mob Family, Lanny Davis, he had his client plead to two counts of criminality that don’t exist. These campaign finance violations that they are saying all over TV implicates the president directly.”

“First, let’s back up. It’s a guilty plea. It is a plea bargain between a prosecutor and a criminal. A criminal who doesn’t want to spend the rest of his life in prison. That is not precedent. That applies only to that specific case,” Levin said.

“Nobody cites plea bargains for precedent. That’s number one.

“Number two: Just because a prosecutor says that somebody violated a campaign law, doesn’t make it so. He’s not the judge, he’s not the jury. We didn’t adjudicate anything–it never went to court. That’s number two.

“A campaign expenditure, under our federal campaign laws, is an expenditure solely for campaign activity. A candidate who spends his own money, or even corporate money, for an event that occurred not as a result of the campaign, it is not a campaign expenditure.”

Levin then gave some examples, one being a candidate for office having disputes with a vendor and not wanting the negative publicity. In this scenario, the hypothetical candidate instructs his private attorney to just pay the vendors and he (the candidate) will reimburse the attorney.”

Levin adds that this is “perfectly legal” and a “point” made that such an act would “influence an election” was “stupid.”

Earlier this year, Newsweek tackled the “the question of whether longtime Trump attorney Michael Cohen’s $130,000 hush money payment to adult actress Stormy Daniels was an illegal campaign contribution.”  Ex-Federal Election Commission Chairman Bradley Smith told Newsweek in March that, “It looks like Trump has made these kinds of payments to people before unrelated to his campaign or as a candidate. It’s hard to show this payment was made solely because he was running for election.”

By way of comparison as to how the media handled a “campaign finance scandal” when it came to Trump’s predecessor, let’s first ask if anyone was aware there even was one.

In one of the few mainstream media reports about it, a U.S. News & World Report headline from 2013 announced, “Obama Campaign Fined Big for Hiding Donors, Keeping Illegal Donations.”

The article went on to note that,The FEC levied one of its largest fines ever against Obama’s campaign committee, new documents show.” The Federal Election Commission fined his campaign $375,000 for “a failure to disclose or improperly disclosing thousands of contributions to Obama for America during the then-senator’s 2008 presidential run.”

More specifically, citing the FEC, the article stated that “the Obama campaign failed to disclose the sources of 1,300 large donations, which together accounted for nearly $1.9 million. Election Commission rules state campaigns must report donations of $1,000 or more within 20 days of Election Day.”

“Obama for America was also fined for ‘untimely resolution of excessive contributions,’ according to the conciliation agreement, FEC says,” the report continues. “The campaign accepted more than $1.3 million in contributions that came from donors who had already given $46,000 — the maximum allowed by FEC rules. The campaign eventually refunded the excess cash but did not do so within the 60-day window allotted for resolving such cases.

“In addition to failing to report big donors and excess donations in a timely manner, the Obama campaign incorrectly dated the filings dealing with $85 million in funds, the FEC claims. This error appears to have been primarily the result of one transfer to the campaign committee from the Obama Victory Fund, a fundraising group that includes money raised by the Democratic National Committee that is earmarked for the presidential race.”

Do you remember the media having a field-day with the news and screaming for Obama to be impeached?

Was anyone sent to jail over actual mishandling of actual campaign funds? (No Russians were implicated in the commission of those violations of federal election law, either.)

The sharp contrast between the two situations is undeniable.

To anyone with eyes to read, there is a distinct appearance of the establishment media using extreme measures to smear a sitting president and build public pressure for impeachment. Neither of which is the duty of a free press or an honorable Fourth Estate.

FEC Targets Hillary, DNC for Breaking Law With Faked Trump-Russia Dossier


Reported By Cillian Zeal | October 26, 2017 at 9:21am

URL of the original posting site: https://conservativetribune.com/fec-targets-hillary-dnc/?

Autumn, it seems, is not the best season for Hillary Rodham Clinton. Last November… well, reminders probably aren’t necessary. And, as the days grow shorter and the leaves more colorful this year, there’s another ghastly revelation emerging for Team Clinton: After nearly a year of speculation, a Washington Post report published Tuesday linked the erstwhile Democrat standard-bearer and her functionaries at the Democrat National Committee with providing the funding for the infamous, debunked “Trump dossier.”

Now, that revelation could mean Hillary is involved with another investigation — this time with the Federal Election Commission.

According to The Washington Times, a watchdog group filed a complaint with the FEC on Wednesday charging that the DNC and Clinton campaign violated campaign finance law by failing to disclose the nature of the payments they were making through a lawyer to the company that compiled the dossier — Fusion GPS.

Paying via a law firm allowed the campaign to characterize the money as “legal services” rather than opposition research, the group argues.

Campaign Legal Center, a nonpartisan outfit that also filed a complaint against the anti-John Kerry PAC Swift Boat Veterans for Truth back in 2004, said that since the nature of the payments was effectively hidden from the public, Clinton’s campaign violated provisions of federal law that require disclosure of both the recipient of the money and the reason it’s being spent.

“By filing misleading reports, the DNC and Clinton campaign undermined the vital public information role of campaign disclosures,” Adav Noti, a former FEC official who is the senior director of trial litigation and strategy at the Campaign Legal Center, told The Washington Times.

“Voters need campaign disclosure laws to be enforced so they can hold candidates accountable for how they raise and spend money. The FEC must investigate this apparent violation and take appropriate action.”

The Washington Post’s report Tuesday said that Clinton lawyer Marc E. Elias retained Fusion GPS in April 2016 to conduct the research behind the Trump dossier after an unnamed Republican donor pulled funding. That funding continued until the end of October 2016, just days before the election.

Fusion GPS, a Democrat-linked opposition research firm, has long sought to obfuscate where the money to assemble the dossier came from. Appearing before the House Intelligence Committee last week, Fusion GPS executives invoked their Fifth Amendment rights to refuse to testify. Later in the week, they petitioned a federal court to keep subpoenaed financial records from being turned over to the committee..

But the Campaign Legal Center argues that records like that are the point of campaign finance laws.

“Questions about who paid for this dossier are the subject of intense public interest, and this is precisely the information that FEC reports are supposed to provide,” Brendan Fischer, director of federal and FEC reform at CLC, told reporters.

“Payments by a campaign or party committee to an opposition research firm are legal, as long as those payments are accurately disclosed. But describing payments for opposition research as ‘legal services’ is entirely misleading and subverts the reporting requirements.”

Yes, it seems even without the White House, Hillary Clinton still has a lot to worry about. The sad thing is, the dossier could just be the least of her worries, now that we know about the fun stuff going on at the FBI while Uranium One was being sold off to the Russians. April may be the cruelest month, but for Hillary Clinton, autumn is definitely the cruelest season.

FEC Complaint: Clinton Campaign, DNC Violated Campaign Finance Law With Dossier Payments


Reported By Jack Davis | October 25, 2017 at 5:01pm

URL of the original posting site: https://www.westernjournalism.com/fec-complaint-clinton-campaign-dnc-violated-campaign-finance-law-dossier-payments/?

Former Democrat presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee broke the law in the way they handled their effort to dig up dirt on President Donald Trump, according to a complaint filed Wednesday with the Federal Election Commission.

On Tuesday, it was revealed that the Clinton campaign and the DNC funded development of a now-discredited dossier that claimed to document misbehavior by Trump while in Russia and also claimed Trump had close connections with Russian officials.

Marc E. Elias, a lawyer representing the Clinton campaign and the DNC, retained the firm Fusion GPS to conduct the research into Trump. Fusion GPS then hired Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence officer, to do the work.

Perkins Coie, the firm for which Elias works, was paid $12.4 million to represent the Clinton campaign and the DNC during the 2016 campaign.

The complaint from the nonprofit Campaign Legal Center said that by paying the firm of Perkins Coie to fund development of the dossier while not saying that’s what it was doing, the campaign and DNC broke the law.

The Clinton and campaign and the DNC “failed to accurately disclose the purpose and recipient of payments for the dossier of research alleging connections between then-candidate Donald Trump and Russia, effectively hiding these payments from public scrutiny, contrary to the requirements of federal law,” the Center said on its website.

According to FEC reports, Clinton’s campaign reported 37 payments to the law firm and reported each disbursement as “Legal Services.”

The DNC reported 345 payments to Perkins Coie during the election cycle and marked the payments as “legal and compliance consulting,” “administrative fees,” “data services subscription” and others.

“The purpose of at least some portion of the payments to Perkins Coie was not for legal services; instead, those payments were intended to fund opposition research,” the complaint said. “This false reporting clearly failed the Commission’s requirements for disclosing the purpose of a disbursement.”

The CLC said the campaign and DNC tried to end run the rules.

“By filing misleading reports, the DNC and Clinton campaign undermined the vital public information role of campaign disclosures,” said Adav Noti, senior director of trial litigation and strategy at CLC. “Voters need campaign disclosure laws to be enforced so they can hold candidates accountable for how they raise and spend money.

“The FEC must investigate this apparent violation and take appropriate action,” Noti added.

“Questions about who paid for this dossier are the subject of intense public interest, and this is precisely the information that FEC reports are supposed to provide,” said Brendan Fischer, director of federal and FEC reform at CLC.

“Payments by a campaign or party committee to an opposition research firm are legal, as long as those payments are accurately disclosed,” he said. “But describing payments for opposition research as ‘legal services’ is entirely misleading and subverts the reporting requirements.”

Writing on LawNewz, Rachel Stockman said there is a fine line separating legal fro illegal activities.

“It is legal under current campaign finance law for the Hillary Clinton campaign to commission an opposition research company to dig up dirt on Donald Trump,” she wrote. “What is not legal, according to campaign legal experts, is for the campaign to pay a law firm who then hires other to perform campaign related activities without reporting the purpose of the expenditures.”

Charge: Election commission Dems want to regulate conservative Internet, super PACs


waving flagBy Paul Bedard | May 11, 2015

URL of the Original Posting Site: http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/article/2564287

Bristling at claims that GOP opposition has made the Federal Election Commission “worse than dysfunctional” in the eyes of the Democratic chairwoman, Republicans counter-charge that the left is frustrated because it hasn’t succeeded in regulating conservative Internet sites, media and right-leaning super PACs.

In an escalating fight on the politically-divided FEC, the former Republican chairman on Monday charged his Democratic replacement with playing politics and trying to belittle foes to get her way.Liberalism a mental disorder 2

“In Washington, people have a way of vilifying anything they disagree with in the most unflattering labels,” wrote Republican Commissioner Lee E. Goodman in a column for Politico. It was in response to claims by Democratic Chair Ann Ravel that the GOP is thwarting her bid to clean up politics.Free Speech Definition

“Commissioner Ravel believes that there are too many instances where the commissioners have evenly divided their votes, and that the bipartisan safeguards that prevent one party from politicizing or misusing the agency to punish political enemies stand in the way of meaningful enforcement,” wrote Goodman.

Ravel recently hit the GOP side in a New York Times article. “The likelihood of the laws being enforced is slim,” she charged. “I never want to give up, but I’m not under any illusions. People think the FEC is dysfunctional. It’s worse than dysfunctional,” she added.Offical Seal

The paper described the FEC as being “perpetually locked in 3-to-3 ties along party lines on key votes.” But Goodman provided figures which dismissed that charge. Under his chairmanship, he said, the commission acted in a bipartisan manner 93 percent of the time, including several votes with the GOP by Ravel.Party of Deciet and lies

However on key issues like Democratic targeting of conservative media, possibly including conservative websites like the Drudge Report, the sides deadlocked.

Goodman also said Ravel’s war on “dark money” only targets Republican groups, making the agency too partisan. “To punctuate her concerns over ‘dark money’ as the poster issue for Republican lawlessness, she has publicly called out four conservative non-profit organizations: Crossroads GPS, Americans for Job Security, American Future Fund and the American Action Network. Commissioner Ravel never mentions the many liberal groups that spend millions of dollars in elections without disclosing their donors, including Planned Parenthood Action Fund, Sierra Club, League of Conservation Voters, SEIU and many others. The omission suggests what many conservatives suspect really drives the philosophical complaint and sows cynicism,” he wrote.Tyranney Alert

Goodman said the 3-3 votes show the wisdom of Congress setting up the FEC as a divided body. “No one team gets to choose all the umpires or unilaterally set the rules of the game,” he wrote.

Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner’s “Washington Secrets” columnist, can be contacted at pbedard@washingtonexaminer.com.

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