Herschel Walker Targeted For Potential Audit After Shady Spending

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Herschel Walker, the avidly pro-Trump candidate for U.S. Senate who lost last year in Georgia, is facing new scrutiny from federal authorities over his campaign finances.

The Federal Election Commission (FEC) has sent a letter demanding a slew of clarifying details about donations the Walker campaign received, including some that may have violated rules for financially supporting contenders for federal office. For example, contributions from a limited liability corporation (LLC) were only permitted if that business entity was treated as a partnership in dealing with federal taxes, but the Walker campaign failed to clarify for certain donations received from that kind of business organization whether such was the case. There were also donations from individuals seemingly surpassing the legal limits set for how much one donor can provide for a federal candidate in both a primary and a general election, and although the campaign began the process of dealing with those donations, some work remained.

“To date, one or more of the apparent excessive contributions have not been refunded, redesignated, or reattributed,” the letter said. At this point, any donations that passed the limit may, it seems, need to be refunded if the campaign didn’t already take other corrective action. “If the foregoing conditions for reattributions or redesignations are not met within 60 days of receipt, the excessive amount must be refunded,” the federal missive added. The letter also explicitly leaves the option of further legal action over these problems open. “Although the Commission may take further legal action concerning the acceptance of excessive contributions, your prompt action to refund or redesignate and/or reattribute the excessive amount will be taken into consideration,” the letter added. Other stated possibilities include an audit.

At issue is apparently a filing made ahead of the runoff election that saw Walker face incumbent Raphael Warnock, the victorious Democrat, and Walker’s team (the letter is addressed to his treasurer) has to provide its reply by the middle of next month. Extensions aren’t an option. Other problems noted to Walker’s campaign treasurer include that the campaign may have failed to appropriately notify the FEC of late-stage donations reaching at least $1,000 and that the campaign received donations from political organizations whose compliance with federal standards for such a group was unclear, as they were unregistered.

After Walker’s defeat, he was relatively accepting of the loss, unlike Arizona’s Kari Lake, who is still challenging Democrat Katie Hobbs’s win in that state’s 2022 race for governor in court. Meanwhile, another Republican facing scrutiny over campaign finances is George Santos, the first-term Congressman from New York whose 2020 bid saw tens of thousands in donations reported with what may have been false personal details.