FEC dismisses complaint against Trump campaign filed by one of David Brock's groups

In 2016, the American Democracy Legal Fund (ADLF) filed a complaint with the FEC alleging that the Trump campaign was self-enriching by mentioning some of his businesses on the campaign trail. Friday, the FEC dismissed that claim. From Politico:


The complaint from American Democracy Legal Fund alleged that represented a use of campaign funds to further Trump’s business and personal interests in violation of campaign finance law…

But the FEC dismissed the complaints on a 3-1 vote, with Democratic commissioner Ellen Weintraub dissenting, after the agency’s general counsel recommended against moving forward.

“The available information indicates that most of Trump’s alleged promotion of his products and properties during campaign appearances were made in the context of touting his business acumen, and therefore his suitability and qualifications for office, which was an issue often raised during the campaign,” the report says.

That’s got to be a big disappointment to ADLF found David Brock (aka “Hillary’s attack dog”) who filed the complaint two years ago. Here’s a bit of the original complaint:

Mr. Trump’s promotion of his business throughout his campaign is a clear violation of the Act’s personal-use rules. The expenses associated with promoting and marketing Mr. Trump’s products and properties would exist irrespective of his campaign; therefore, Mr. Trump is precluded from promoting his business by using campaign resources. However, Mr. Trump has repeatedly and brazenly used campaign assets to promote and market his business interests. Mr. Trump used a post-primary press conference that was organized by campaign staffers and occurred in a venue rented by the Committee to hold a “prime-time informational” that promoted Trump Steaks, Trump Magazine, Trump University, Trump Winery, and Trump Water.


Prior to his FEC complaint against the Trump campaign, Brock’s group filed a complaint against Hillary’s opponent in the primaries, Bernie Sanders. From MSNBC:

A group founded by Hillary Clinton ally David Brock filed three complaints with the Federal Election Commission Tuesday against the Bernie Sanders’ campaign and two allied outside groups…

Brock founded the ADLF in 2014 to essentially weaponize the political ethics process against opponents. But it’s always been used against Republicans – this is the first time the ADLF has filed a complaint against a Democrat.

The group’s co-founder is Brad Woodhouse, who is also the president of the super PAC Correct the Record, which coordinates directly with the Clinton campaign though a novel legal arrangement.

So, two years after this was launched, it has finally failed. In a small way, Hillary is still taking losses connected to the 2016 election.

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Karen Townsend 7:21 PM on October 03, 2023