Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign may have gotten a sizable – and illegal – financial boost from as many as 40 state-level Democratic parties.
A new lawsuit alleged the Democrats may have funneled as much as $84 million into Clinton’s campaign in a scheme to apparently get around campaign contribution limits , according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, which reported that Nevada’s Democratic Party could get pulled into the lawsuit.
“You had individuals giving $300,000,” Virginia-based attorney Dan Backer, who filed the lawsuit, told the newspaper on Friday. “They’re not doing it because they care about Nevada’s or Arkansas’ state party. They’re doing it to curry favor with and buy influence with Hillary Clinton.”
Backer represents the Committee to Defend the President, a political action committee backing President Trump which initially filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission in December. The lawsuit is a result of the FEC failing to meet a deadline for taking action.
From the Las Vegas Review-Journal:
According to records provided by Backer, the Hillary Victory Fund reported transferring more than $1.7 million to the Nevada Democratic Party between December 2015 and November 2016. But the party only reported receiving $146,200, which it transferred to the DNC.
The remaining $1.6 million was sent by the Hillary Victory Fund to the Nevada party and received by the DNC and never appeared on the Nevada party’s reports, Backer said.
Nevada’s Democratic Party refuted the accusations.
“This is nothing more than a bogus political stunt feebly designed to distract from vulnerable Republicans’ disastrous agenda,” Helen Kalla, a spokeswoman for the Nevada Democratic Party, told the Review Journal.
Another state involved in the lawsuit is Idaho where Democrats allegedly contributed $1.6 million in 13 reported transactions between November 2015 and November 2016, according to the Idaho Statesman which reported that 10 of those transactions “showed transfers from Hillary Victory Fund whose amounts were matched by transfers from the state party to the DNC on the same dates.”
Local party officials, however, may have been ignorant of the transactions.
It is “reasonably possible the Idaho State Democratic Party had no prior knowledge of, or control over, these transfers because they were handled entirely by HVF, the DNC, HFA, [Hillary Victory Fund, Democratic National Committee, Hillary for America] and/or their treasurers,” the 101-page complaint filed in December stated, according to the Statesman.
Meanwhile, in Delaware, Backer thinks the handling of money “doesn’t pass the sniff test.”
“There were 11 transactions where the Democratic State Committee of Delaware (Delaware Democratic Party) forwarded $2.5 million to the Democratic National Committee, and so these funds were raised, transferred to the Delaware Democratic Party and then transferred to the DNC on the exact same day, or at least that’s what was reported,” Becker told WXDE-FM radio.
Jesse Chadderdon, executive director for the Delaware Democratic Party, slammed the lawsuit as “yet another blatant example of hypocrisy from Donald Trump and his cronies.”
“Let’s be clear, this is nothing more than a Beltway political stunt,” Chadderdon told the station, “led by the pro-Trump PAC ‘The Committee to Defend the President,’ one that’s simply designed to distract Delaware voters.”
But Backer notes it was illegal because “the Supreme Court has said that we can impose a contribution limit on how much any one individual can give to any one candidate, state party, or political action committee.”
“It doesn’t pass the sniff test. If I give you a million dollars for your campaign, I may not have bought anything, but it looks that way. The Supreme Court has widely upheld these base limits,” he added.
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