FEC Launches Probe Of GOP Over Suspicious Cash Discrepancies

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What happened to the Republicans’ wayward package of over $75 million? In a strange maneuver, a Trump Victory fund managed to walk the money to the state party coffers. Then, almost every time, the state Republican National Committee (RNC) turned the money back to the national RNC. The purpose was to send Donald Trump millions of dollars. Was this legal?

The Federal Election Commission (FEC) investigators have been looking into financial discrepancies. In an Axios exclusive, the news organization asked what happened to the $400,000 that went to the state party from the Trump Victory joint fundraising committee?

Vermont GOP Chair Deb Billado told Axios:

‘I am not sure what report your (sic) looking at please point me toward it or forward the link to it to me.’

That was the problem. State GOP chairs were not aware of the transactions. That has always been a condition that allowed this to be a legal transaction.

The Vermont Republican Party showed the transfers in its FEC filings. However, Billado claimed in an email:

‘[The Vermont Republican Party had] not interfaced with other states nor the national RNC on fundraising.’

Then in New Mexico, Axios discovered that the FEC noticed that the state’s Republican Party had not reported over $550,000 last September from Trump Victory and to the RNC. How could this kind of money move through her organization without her knowledge?

This February, the Hawaii Republican Party had to amend a group of FEC filings and ad almost $1.7 million before it moved to the RNC. It was the first time that the state GOP admitted the money came from Trump Victory. For some reason, the Hawaii Republican Party had an additional bank account it had not reported. The part that made this stranger is that it was located in the Chain Bridge Bank in McLean, Virginia.

So what was going on with these transactions? It appears that “the RNC, Trump Victory, and other GOP state parties also used this bank. Hawaii explained to the FEC that its bank account was “associated” with Trump Victory.

During the 2020 election, Trump Victory sent out 260 transactions to state GOPs totaling over $75 million. Then, those state parties immediately turned the money around, usually on the same day, and handed it to the RNC.

The national RNC insisted that it was all legal and appropriate. According to an Axios source, a committee official said:

‘We only accept and disburse contributions in accordance with the law, and the RNC was proud to have invested more in our state parties last cycle than ever before.’

This type of transaction actually began with the Democratic National Committee (DNC) when Hillary Clinton was running for president in 2016. This money move has been legal, but only on the condition that the state party:

‘[T] he state parties actually take control of the funds before sending it to their national affiliate. A Biden joint fundraising committee also engaged in some similar transfers last year, though not in as large or comprehensive a fashion as Trump Victory.’

When Trump took the 2016 nomination, he set up the Trump Victory joint fundraising committee. It raised money for “his campaign, the RNC, and 11 state Republican parties.”

Those who do not like this type of funding called it “laundering.” The FEC never investigated this process. The state Democratic parties moved $92 million to the DNC. They insisted that the state parties moved the money of their own volition.

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