Your political money numbers don’t make sense

Your political money numbers don't make sense

Former President Donald Trump points to the crowd on arrival at the National Rifle Association’s annual convention at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, Texas, on May 27, 2022.Brandon Bell/Getty Images

  • The Federal Election Commission issued a warning to a Trump-connected political action committee.

  • The FEC said the Make America Great Again PAC made several mistakes in its most recent April quarterly report.

  • Trump’s campaign and political committees have faced numerous accusations of mistakes and wrongdoing.

A political action committee connected to President Donald Trump is under increased scrutiny from federal officials because of apparent discrepancies in its financial disclosures.

Trump’s Make America Great Again PAC made several mistakes in its first-quarter 2022 financial report, including discrepancies in its reported cash on hand in addition to calculation errors, according to a July 6 letter the Federal Election Commission sent the committee.

Make America Great Again PAC, which until early 2021 operated as Trump’s 2020 presidential campaign committee, has until August 10, 2022, to respond to the FEC’s letter and will not receive an extension. If the PAC fails to respond in time, the FEC said it could lead to an audit or “enforcement action.”

As of March 31, Make America Great Again PAC reported having about $5.5 million in available cash. It’s one of several political committees within the post-presidency political operation of Trump, who continues to mull a run for president again in 2024.

A spokesperson for Trump did not respond to Insider’s request for comment.

Warning letters of this sort are not uncommon for large political committees that raise and spend significant money and sometimes make accounting mistakes. Just ask former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang, whose old presidential campaign committee received one earlier this month.

But accounting mistakes and financial weaknesses can lead to federal fines and bad headlines, such as when the FEC slapped President Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign with a $375,000 fine for reporting violations. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign, along with the Democratic National Committee, paid fines earlier this year. In April, the companies of Canadian billionaire Barry Zekelman also paid FEC fines related to allegations they made illegal contributions to a pro-Trump super PAC.

And Make America Great Again PAC’s apparently less-than-perfect math is the latest in a string of questions, concerns, and anomalies to arise from the Trump campaign and related PACs, including a case involving whether Trump’s 2020 campaign laundered hundreds of millions of dollars in spending.

At least 43 Trump-related cases have been referred to the FEC over the past six years for potential violations.

ace The Daily Beast previously reported, the bipartisan FEC, which has civil powers to enforce federal campaign finance laws, failed to act on any of the cases due to repeated deadlocks by its commissioners — in every case, the three Republican commissioners did not vote against Trump.

Four votes or more are required to affirm a decision on the six-commissioner FEC, and 3-3 deadlocks are common in high-profile matters.

In June, Insider reported that Commissioner Trey Trainor, one of the three Republican commissioners at the FEC, spoke at a Texas GOP event where he was advertised to attendees as a member of the “Trump Elections Team.” Trainor told Insider he was unaware of his billing.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Source link