Another Trump Fraud Case Dismissed-- Though Not Because He Wasn't Guilty
The horrible campaign to install a grossly incompetent and severely narcissistic Putin puppet in the White House-- and replacing American democracy with a form of kakistocracy-cum-kleptocracy-- by animating the stupidest and most ignorant people in the country, all began back on June 16, 2015. Señor Trumpanzee, with his mail order bride from Slovenia or Slovakia at his side, came riding down the escalator of Trumpanzee Tower to puke out his hateful demagoguery to an audience of paid actors. The day before his inauguration, the FEC dismissed the complaint and law suit, noting that the amount of money was too small for them to pursue. Yesterday, the Hollywood Reporter, which was the originator of the exposé about how Trump paid out-of-work actors to pretend to be Trump fans, explained the FEC's action. "At the time, Trump's then campaign manager Corey Lewandowski denied paying anyone to attend the event and said that he had never heard of Extra Mile or Gotham Government Relations, the two companies that THR reported were involved in putting out a casting call for people to attend the event."
A few months later, with no disclosures related to this, the American Democracy Legal Fund filed a complaint, alleging that Trump's campaign violated the reporting provisions of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971.
Donald J. Trump for President, Inc., then admitted paying Gotham $12,000 on Oct. 8, 2015. Gotham reported to the FCC it hired Extra Mile as a subcontractor to provide support at Trump's announcement. Still, this doesn't settle the issue because of the allegation that Trump may have accepted prohibited or excessive contributions from the two companies involved with hiring the actors.
According to a FEC general counsel's report in March 2016, made public on Thursday, it was "clear" that Trump's campaign "did not pay Gotham for its services for almost four months after the event, and did not report the transaction for more than seven months after the event. Thus, Gotham's apparent extension of credit to the Committee for the services rendered at the June candidacy announcement may constitute an excessive or prohibited contribution, and the Committee failed to report the amount it owed Gotham as a debt."
"However," the report continued, "because of the seemingly modest amount at issue, we recommend that the Commission exercise its prosecutorial discretion and dismiss the allegation..."
It started badly; it will likely end far worse.
That's just what the FEC has done, quietly announcing its decision to close the file on the complaint on the eve of Trump's inauguration.