Watchdog Accuses Trump Campaign of ‘Laundering’ $170 Million

The Campaign Legal Center, a nonpartisan campaign finance watchdog group, filed a complaint with the Federal Elections Commission Tuesday accusing the Trump campaign of “laundering” $170 million through numerous companies, some with connections to former Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale.

KEY FACTS
“The Trump campaign and Trump Make America Great Again Committee disguised nearly $170 million of campaign spending by laundering the funds through firms,” the complaint claims.

It adds that the firms are “headed by Trump’s recent campaign manager, Brad Parscale, and/or created by Trump campaign lawyers.”

The complaint alleges that the Trump campaign paid millions of dollars to campaign-connected vendors without reporting those payments to the FEC, specifically homing in on American Made Media Consultants (AMMC), a firm created by Parscale, which has been paid over $106 million, making it the campaigns largest vendor.

AMMC was ostensibly created to circumvent media buyers, but the complaint points to FCC records that show the campaign has used media buying firm Harris Sikes to place some of its ads, alleging the campaign is “failing to report payments to the firms and is instead using AMMC as a conduit for its payments to the firms.”

The complaint also points to an app called Phunware, which Parscale has said was created and is “directly owned” by the campaign, but which has never appeared in the campaign’s spending reports because, as the complaint alleges, it was paid through AMMC.

Trump campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh denied the charges made in the complaint, telling Forbes, “The campaign reports all payments to AMMC as required by the FEC. The campaign complies with all campaign finance laws and FEC regulations.”

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Source: Forbes