The Campaign Legal Center (CLC), a campaign ethics watchdog group has officially notified the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) that it has actual evidence showing a pro-Trump super PAC made illegal contributions to President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign. The notification to the FEC states that the “Make America Number 1” super PAC, which is financed and operated by GOP financier Robert Mercer, used a third-party to funnel money to Trump Senior Advisor Steve Bannon.
In the letter delivered to the FEC’s Complaints Examination and Legal Administration office on Wednesday claims that Mercer “illegally compensated Steve Bannon’s work as Donald Trump’s campaign CEO, and that the super PAC and campaign engaged in unlawful coordinated spending by using the common vendor Cambridge Analytica.”
Brendan Fischer, the director of the federal and FEC reform program at the CLC explained how Mercer and Bannon transferred the illegal campaign contributions.
“The evidence suggests that the Mercer-backed super PAC secretly subsidized Bannon’s work for the Trump campaign by payments to Glittering Steel, which we now know has been chaired and is owned by Bannon and which paid him a monthly consulting fee.”
But on Bannon’s personal financial disclosure, he stated that he was paid by Glittering Steel through his California-based consulting firm, and not from the Mercer-led super PAC.
But Fischer and the CLC have been tracking the money trail since they lodged their initial complaint in October 2016.
“Both Bannon and Make America Number 1’s leadership owned and were on the board of Cambridge Analytica, and news reports indicate that the Trump campaign hired Cambridge Analytica at the urging of Make America Number 1’s head, strengthening the inference that Cambridge Analytica was used as a means of sharing information between the campaign and super PAC, in violation of federal law.”
The CLC has filed an additional complaint with the California’s Attorney General and Secretary of state.
That complaint demands a review of Glittering Steel LLC’s compliance with California state laws.
“Entities engaged in intrastate commerce in California must register and publicly disclose their board membership, and may be subject to taxation,” said Fischer.
According to the CLC complaint, Glittering Steel was not actually licensed to do business in California. But Make America Number 1’s filings with the FEC show that the super PAC paid millions of dollars to Glittering Steel at an address in California.
Neither Bannon, nor any member of the Trump administration, have yet to comment on this latest complaint.