Washington, DC–(ENEWSPF)–November 16, 2016
According to federal campaign finance law, it is illegal for Super PACs to coordinate operations with campaigns. Additionally, there is a 120-day “cooling off” period for when Super PAC employees leave to work on the campaign their PAC was supporting to avoid any potential coordination. Steve Bannon was paid by Make America Number 1 on August 8, 2016, and then became Trump campaign CEO on August 17, 2016, directly violating the 120-day cooling off period. Additionally, Bannon was paid by the PAC after he became campaign CEO, which likely means there was coordination.”
At issue are payments of nearly $200,000 that a super PAC called Make America Number 1 made to a company tied to Bannon. On Aug. 17, Bannon left his post as chairman of Breitbart News and became the Trump campaign’s CEO. Available FEC filings show the campaign didn’t pay Bannon a salary. Larry Noble, General Counsel for the Campaign Legal Center, said he believes the super PAC covertly paid Bannon for his campaign work through his moviemaking company. Neither the super PAC nor Bannon provided a response to Noble’s comment.
In an Oct. 6 complaint to the Federal Election Commission, the Campaign Legal Center argued that Robert and Rebekah Mercer—a father-daughter duo who give generously to conservative causes and candidates—broke federal campaign laws by paying Bannon for his work so the campaign wouldn’t have to shoulder the cost. Robert Mercer is a reclusive billionaire hedge-fund manager, and his daughter oversees much of his political giving. She’s also on Trump’s transition team.
The Campaign Legal Center says the new FEC filings undergird their case against the Mercers. Those filings cover the final weeks before Election Day, up until Nov. 5, and they show that a super PAC funded largely by the Mercers—Make America Number 1—paid Bannon’s moviemaking company, Glittering Steel, $187,500 during that window of time. The super PAC cut Glittering Steel five checks from Oct. 1 to Nov. 5: one for $40,500, one for $50,000, one for $37,500, one for $34,500, and one for $25,000
Indeed the FBI should investigate and well before Inauguration Day.