The reelection campaign of President Donald Trump is being accused of laundering $170 million through various companies, some with ties to former campaign manager Brad Parscale, who was arrested in Florida over the weekend after a brief standoff with police who had been called to his home by his wife.
Forbes reports that The Campaign Legal Center (CLC), a nonpartisan campaign finance watchdog group, filed a formal complaint on Tuesday with the Federal Elections Commission:
“’The Trump campaign and Trump Make America Great Again Committee disguised nearly $170 million of campaign spending by laundering the funds through firms,’ the complaint claims.
“It adds that the firms are ‘headed by Trump’s recent campaign manager, Brad Parscale, and/or created by Trump campaign lawyers.’
“The complaint alleges that the Trump campaign paid millions of dollars to campaign-connected vendors without reporting those payments to the FEC, specifically homing in on American Made Media Consultants (AMMC), a firm created by Parscale, which has been paid over $106 million, making it the campaigns largest vendor.”
If indeed it can be proven that the Trump campaign failed to report the payments to the actual vendors, that would be a direct violation of federal election law.
Trevor Potter, founder and president of the CLC, told CNN:
“Voters have a right to know how campaigns are spending money to influence elections. This scheme flies in the face of transparency requirements mandated by federal law, and it leaves voters and donors in the dark about where the campaign’s funds are actually going.”
The CLC complaint comes less than 48 hours after The New York Times revealed that President Trump paid only $750 in federal income taxes in 2016 and 2017 and may have committed tax fraud with various avoidance schemes designed to hide his assets.
Trump will face his 2020 Democratic rival, former Vice President Joe Biden, later this evening in the first presidential debate.
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