After a very public run-in with campaign finance laws a few weeks ago, non-partisan watchdog groups put the campaign on notice over their illegal contributions. Though it didn’t really require their notice, as the issue was widely publicized and complaints from members of the British Parliament were made publicly.
— Stuart McDonald MP (@Stuart_McDonald) June 27, 2016
An FEC complaint was filed, for which the campaign was also notified. In short, there’s simply no way they didn’t know about this.
But they are still doing it.
As streiff noted at the time, this illegal practice has been undertaken before, notably by the Clintons in 1996. And yes, before you question the impartiality of watchdogs, they are also watching Hillary, who they bust here for accepting illegal contributions from a government contractor. This is a real thing, not a partisan hit job. Donations from foreigners is a bad thing.
So why is the Trump campaign still soliciting them? From “WhoWhatWhy” via The Hill:
Foreign members of parliament from the United Kingdom and Australia confirmed to The Hill that they received fundraising solicitations from the Trump campaign as recently as July 12 — two weeks after a widely publicized FEC complaint issued on June 29 by non-partisan watchdogs Democracy 21 and the Campaign Legal Center.
Terri Butler, a progressive Parliament member in Australia, told The Hill in a telephone interview Friday night that she was surprised to continue receiving fundraising solicitations from the Trump campaign at her official government email address.
She shared several of these emails, including one dated July 12 asking her to make a “generous contribution” to the Trump campaign.
Butler says she has no idea how her government email ended up on the Trump fundraising list.
“I haven’t signed up to any Trump lists,” she said.
That’s not all. Remember that it was an MP on Twitter who made the most public complaint, and it was Brexit-based fundraising sent to Scottish government representatives that were the most salacious (and silly, considering the Scottish vote went for Remain). Well Trump is still targeting the United Kingdom.
Bob Blackman, a member of the U.K. House of Commons, shared with The Hill a fundraising solicitation sent to his government email address from the Trump campaign on July 12.
“I did not sign up, these are sent unsolicited,” Blackman told The Hill in an email.
Another member of the U.K. Parliament, Peter Bottomley, said he’d received three solicitations from the Trump campaign.
“Neither [Trump’s] sons nor anyone else has answered my questions about how they acquired my email nor why they were asking for financial support that I suppose to be illegal for [Trump] to accept,” Bottomley told The Hill in an email.
Fred Wertheimer, president of the campaign finance watchdog Democracy 21, says he’s never in his four-decade career seen a campaign continue to brazenly solicit foreign cash after being publicly called out.
“This is kind of absurd. I don’t know of anyone else in this situation who would just go on keeping on soliciting money from foreign interests,” he said. “I think the fact circumstances here are unprecedented.
There is currently an FEC complaint against the Trump campaign over this, and Wertheimer is considering a criminal complaint as well. But hey, Hillary gets away with crime all the time based on fake “intent” debates. So …
There is a good deal more worth reading at The Hill.
To summarize, both Hillary and Trump are in campaign finance imbroglios. And you thought 2016 couldn’t get any dumber.