Democrat group says Trump is breaking campaign law by not declaring for 2024

A Democratic super PAC said he was filing a formal complaint Monday with the Federal Election Commission accusing Donald J. Trump of ha...


A Democratic super PAC said he was filing a formal complaint Monday with the Federal Election Commission accusing Donald J. Trump of having violated the law on the financing of electoral campaigns by spending political funds for a presidential candidacy of 2024 without officially declaring himself a candidate.

The complaint uses Mr Trump’s own words about a 2024 race – “I know what I’m going to do, but we’re not supposed to talk about it yet from a campaign finance law perspective”, he said in the fall. — to accuse him of improperly using his existing political committees to advance a presidential race.

Federal rules require those who raise or spend more than $5,000 to support a presidential campaign register with the Federal Election Commission.

Mr Trump has repeatedly teased that he plans to run for president again, telling the Conservative Political Action Conference last month: “We’ve done it twice and we will do it again.” But despite formally seeking re-election on his inauguration day in 2017, Mr Trump did not do so for 2024. Such a filing would result in restrictions on how he could raise and spend the money of the campaign, including its existing war chest.

Trump-controlled committees entered 2022 with $122 million in the bank — far more than the Republican Party itself.

“He should obey the law like all the other candidates do,” said Jessica Floyd, president of American Bridge, the Democratic group that is filing the complaint. “When he says, ‘I’m going to do it a third time,’ that’s not flirting. It’s more than a toe bath.

Ms Floyd noted that Mr Trump’s quotes from the campaign law show clear intentions to circumvent existing rules. “It’s not like he didn’t know what he was doing,” she said.

Taylor Budowich, a spokesman for Mr Trump, called the complaint frivolous.

“America is spiraling into disaster because of the Democrats’ failures, and instead of backtracking, they are busy filing frivolous complaints that have no merit,” he said.

Mr Trump told Fox News host Sean Hannity in July 2021 that he had made up his mind about another candidacy for the White House. A month later, he told Fox News again that it was “incredibly stupid” campaign finance laws that prevented him from directly declaring his intentions.

“Let me put it this way: I think you will be happy, and I think many of our friends will be very happy. But I am not authorized to answer it,” Mr. Trump said at the time. “It makes it very difficult if I do that.”

Nothing legally prevents Mr. Trump from declaring that he is running for president. But he would be subject to additional fundraising limits and disclosure requirements if he did.

Once a politician has decided to run for federal office and begins fundraising, the person is expected to file documents declaring their candidacy. There is also an intermediate stage for those who are “testing the waters” of a race.

American Bridge’s complaint says Mr Trump crossed both thresholds, though the line is notoriously blurry.

For now, Mr. Trump’s main PAC, called Save America, is registered as a committee that can spend on behalf of others, and the PAC has given $350,000 to other candidates in 2021, although that sum is far less than the amount the PAC has spent on Mr. Trump’s properties.

The complaint seems unlikely to generate a crackdown from the Federal Election Commission, which is evenly divided between commissioners aligned with the Democratic and Republican parties, and often deadlocked on contentious issues. The oversight agency’s investigation process is also notoriously slow. A complaint to the commission about the pre-candidacy activities of Jeb Bush, who announced his presidential run in 2015, was still before the court as of December 2021.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Democrat group says Trump is breaking campaign law by not declaring for 2024
Democrat group says Trump is breaking campaign law by not declaring for 2024
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