(Washington Examiner) The Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign committee violated campaign finance laws after they failed to disclose payments linked to the so-called “Trump dossier,” alleged a complaint filed with the Federal Election Commission by the Campaign Legal Center.
The complaint obtained by the Washington Examiner comes one day after the Washington Post reported that Marc Elias, a lawyer who represented both the Clinton campaign and the DNC, funded Fusion GPS, the opposition research firm responsible for the dossier, which possesses a great deal of unverified information tying President Trump to Russia.
“By filing misleading reports, the DNC and Clinton campaign undermined the vital public information role of campaign disclosures,” Adav Noti, senior director of trial litigation and strategy at Campaign Legal Center, said in a press release.
“Voters need campaign disclosure laws to be enforced so they can hold candidates accountable for how they raise and spend money. The FEC must investigate this apparent violation and take appropriate action.”
Clinton’s campaign reportedly routed 37 payments to Fusion GPS through the law firm Perkins Coie, totaling over $5.5 million, and reported each as “legal services.”
The DNC reported 345 payments to Perkins Coie during the election cycle and marked the payments as “legal and compliance consulting, administrative fees, and data services subscription” among others, according to the complaint.
“Payments by a campaign or party committee to an opposition research firm are legal, as long as those payments are accurately disclosed,” Brendan Fischer, director of federal and FEC reform at Campaign Legal Center, said. “But describing payments for opposition research as ‘legal services’ is entirely misleading and subverts the reporting requirements…”