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Week of June 28-July 2, 2021 – FEC.gov

Commission meetings and hearings

No open meetings or executive sessions were scheduled this week.

Advisory Opinions

Supplemental Material Received

Advisory Opinion Request 2021-07 (PACMS) On June 29, the Commission received supplemental material from the requestor.

Enforcement

The Commission made public six closed cases, as follows. For more information, see the case documents in the Enforcement Query System.

MURs 7324, 7332, 7364, and 7366

COMPLAINANTS: Common Cause and Paul S. Ryan; Allen J. Epstein; American Bridge 21st Century Foundation; and Free Speech for People and Shanna M. Cleveland
RESPONDENTS: Donald J. Trump for President, Inc. and Bradley T. Crate, in his official capacity as treasurer (Trump Committee) ; Donald J. Trump; A360 Media, LLC f/k/a American Media, Inc. (AMI); David J. Pecker; Dylan Howard; Michael D. Cohen; and Timothy Jost
SUBJECT: The complaints alleged that AMI and the Trump Committee violated the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971, as amended (the Act), in connection with payments AMI made to two individuals in advance of the 2016 presidential election to suppress negative stories about then-candidate Trump’s relationships with certain individuals.
DISPOSITION: On March 11, 2021, the Commission found reason to believe that AMI and Pecker knowingly and willfully violated the Act by making a prohibited corporate in-kind contribution by purchasing a story right from Karen McDougal in August 2016 and thereafter not publishing the story in consultation with a Trump agent. On May 17, the Commission entered into a conciliation agreement providing for AMI to pay a civil penalty of $187,500, and it took no further action in connection with Pecker. The Commission closed the file in connection with the remaining allegations. Chair Shana M. Broussard and Commissioner Ellen L. Weintraub and Vice Chair Allen Dickerson and Commissioners Sean J. Cooksey and James E. “Trey” Trainor, III issued Statements of Reasons.

MUR 7501

COMPLAINANT: Leslie Dougher
RESPONDENTS: Bill Nelson for U.S. Senate and Peggy Gagnon in her official capacity as treasurer (Nelson Committee); and Democratic Executive Committee of Florida and Fran Garcia in her official capacity as treasurer (DECF)
SUBJECT: The complaint alleged that DECF, a state party committee, made and failed to report and the Nelson Committee accepted and failed to report excessive in-kind contributions in the form of salaries and personnel expenses. Nelson was a 2018 candidate for Florida’s United States Senate seat.
DISPOSITION: The Commission closed the file. Commissioner Cooksey, Vice Chair Dickerson, and Commission Trainor issued a Statement of Reasons.

MUR 7737

COMPLAINANT: Rahul Manchanda
RESPONDENT: Trump Victory and Bradley Crate, in his official capacity as treasurer (Trump Victory)
SUBJECT: The complaint alleged that without the contributor’s knowledge, Trump Victory treated two $1,000 payments he had made to purchase tickets to a luncheon as campaign contributions of $1,000 each from him and his wife, resulting in an impermissible foreign national contribution by his wife or possibly in a contribution he had made in the name of another.
DISPOSITION: The Commission dismissed the matter since Trump Victory promptly corrected the issue and the potential amount in violation was relatively small.

Litigation

CREW, et al. v. FEC (Case No. 19-5161) On July 1, a group of election law scholars, a group of administrative law professors, Senators Sheldon Whitehouse, Jeffrey A. Merkley, Richard Blumenthal, Mazie K. Hirono, Elizabeth Warren, and Chris Van Hollen, the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law, and Campaign Legal Center filed Briefs of Amici Curiae in Support of Appellants’ Petition for Rehearing En Banc in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

Upcoming educational programs

July 7, 2021: The Commission will host a Virtual Conference preview workshop.

July 14, 2021: The Commission will host a FECFile webinar for PACs and party committees.

August 17-18, 2021: The Commission will host a Virtual Conference online via Zoom.

For more information on upcoming training opportunities, see the Commission’s Trainings page.

Upcoming Commission meetings

July 13, 2021: The Commission is scheduled to meet in executive session.

July 15, 2021: The Commission is scheduled to hold an open meeting.

July 27, 2021: The Commission is scheduled to meet in executive session.

July 29, 2021: The Commission is scheduled to hold an open meeting.

Upcoming reporting due dates

July 15: July Quarterly Reports are due. For more information, see the 2021 Quarterly Reporting schedule.

July 20: July Monthly Reports are due. For more information, see the 2021 Monthly Reporting schedule.

July 31: Mid-Year Reports are due. For more information, see the 2021 Semi-annual Reporting schedule.

Status of agency operations

See the Commission’s statement on the status of agency operations, updated on April 15, 2021. At this stage, most agency staff remain in telework status and the Commission’s office remains closed to visitors. See also the agency’s Workplace Safety Plan, dated May 6, 2021.

Additional research materials

Contribution Limits. In addition to the current limits, the Commission has posted an archive of contribution limits that were in effect going back to the 1975-1976 election cycles.

2020 Presidential General Election Results and Federal Elections 2018: Election Results for the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives are available. The data was compiled from the official vote totals published by state election offices.

FEC Notify: Want to be notified by email when campaign finance reports are received by the agency? Sign up here.

Additional research materials about the agency, campaign finance information, and election results are available through the Library section of the Commission website.

The Combined Federal State Disclosure and Election Directory is available. This publication identifies the federal and state agencies responsible for the disclosure of campaign finances, lobbying, personal finances, public financing, candidates on the ballot, election results, spending on state initiatives and other financial filings.

The FEC Record is available as a continuously updated online news source.

Other election-related resources

Videos on protecting U.S. elections. The FBI’s Protected Voices initiative provides videos designed to help political campaigns protect themselves from foreign influence. The 2019 videos offer guidance on ransomware, business email compromise, supply chain, social media literacy, and foreign influence operations. Other videos, released in 2018, include cyber hygiene topics such as social engineering, patching, router hardening, and app and browser safety.

Join the FEC on Twitter and YouTube

Follow @FEC on Twitter to receive the latest information on agency updates, news releases, and weekly activity. Subscribe to our YouTube channel, FECTube: FECConnect on Demand, to watch instructional videos that have been designed to help candidates and committees comply with federal campaign finance laws. Note that the FEC is not currently available through other social media platforms currently. The use of the agency’s logo, name, and likeness on other media has not been authorized by the FEC.

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