A legal complaint filed Tuesday with the Federal Election Commission alleges that the Trump campaign and an affiliated fundraising committee have not properly reported nearly $170 million in campaign spending that was done through firms that paid subcontractors on behalf of the campaign.
The Campaign Legal Center, which advocates for greater regulation of money in politics, alleged in the complaint that payments made by two firms that were set up and run by former campaign manager Brad Parscale should have been reported to the public because the ultimate recipients of the payments effectively worked for the campaign.
Under campaign finance law, campaign committees must publicly disclose the names of firms and people they are paying. These firms are not required to disclose payments they make to others as long as they are not simply acting as a conduit for payments to avoid public disclosure.AD
The defendants named in the lawsuit are the Trump campaign and the Trump Make America Great Again Committee, both of which raise and spend money for the president’s reelection effort. The suit also names American Made Media Consultants, or AMMC, and Parscale Strategy, the two firms set up by Parscale. Both companies are among the highest-paid vendors of Trump’s reelection bid and the committees that are raising and spending money in support of the president.
“The firms serve as conduits that receive millions in payments from the campaign and disburse the funds to the campaign’s ultimate vendors, thereby concealing the campaign’s transactions with those vendors,” the lawsuit reads.
The Trump campaign has said its officials set up AMMC to place all ads for the reelection campaign. It has said the structure allows the campaign to place the ads without having to pay fees or commission to other outside vendors.