WILL FEC INVESTIGATE? WILL LAWSUIT PROCEED?
The clock is ticking on the Alaska Democratic Party regarding a national lawsuit that sweeps the ADP into a scandal with 39 other state Democratic parties, Hillary Clinton’s campaign for president, and the Democratic National Committee.
A lawsuit by the Committee to Defend the President says that the Hillary Victory Fund used 40 state Democratic parties as money laundromats to secretly move $84 million as a way of dodging campaign finance laws. And it was all in support of Hillary Clinton. Alaska’s share of the money-laundering operation was nearly $1.17 million.
The lawsuit claims the Federal Election Commission chose to ignore complaints about the practice, in what could be the largest campaign finance scandal in U.S. history, although it has received scant coverage from mainstream media outlets.
The Committee to Defend the President found several questionable transactions:
- Hillary Victory Fund said it transferred $1,169,100 to the Alaska Democratic Party.
- Alaska Democratic Party said it only received $1,148,100 from the Hillary Victory Fund.
- Alaska Democratic Party said it transferred $1,169,100 to the DNC.
- DNC reported receiving $1,169,100 from the Alaska Democratic Party.
The oddities that stuck out in the transfers include:
- Alaska Democratic Party did not report receiving $21,000 from the Hillary Victory Fund on or about Nov. 7, 2016, but reported transferring $21,000 to the DNC on Nov. 7, 2016.
- The DNC reported receiving $43,500 on Nov. 1, 2015, which was the day before any funds were reported to have been transferred from the Alaska Democratic Party to the DNC.
- Of the 12 transactions reported, 10 transactions showed the same amount of funds being transferred from the Hillary Victory Fund and passing through the state party to the DNC on the same date – the exception being the date/amount errors mentioned above.
The Alaska Democratic Party transactions that are part of the lawsuit are shown here:
The lawsuit, stemming from a complaint filed in December, alleges money came from the Hillary Victory Fund through state parties and back to the Democratic National Committee, basically simultaneously. Most of the money that arrived at the DNC was cycled right back to the Hillary Victory Fund.
“This Complaint alleges an unprecedented, massive, nationwide multi-million dollar conspiracy among the Democratic National Committee (“DNC”); Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton’s joint fundraising committee (“JFC”), Hillary Victory Fund (“HVF”); Clinton’s presidential candidate committee, Hillary for America (“HFA”), 40 Democratic state parties, and an undetermined number of individual “super donors” to circumvent federal contribution limits and earmarking restrictions by effectively laundering nearly all contributions received by HVF through the state parties to the DNC, which contributed much of those funds to HFA, made coordinated expenditures with HFA, and otherwise granted control of those funds to HFA resulting in a de facto unlawful contribution. … this scheme allowed the DNC to receive tens of millions of dollars in contributions far exceeding federal limits,” the lawsuit alleges.
State parties like the Alaska Democratic Party never had control of the money, and will have a tough time explaining the transfers. Kay Brown was the executive director of the Alaska Democratic Party at the time; she left that job shortly thereafter and Jay Parmley was hired as her replacement. The party’s chairman Casey Steinau was likely a check signer in most transactions, but these transactions were done electronically.
After the Committee to Defend the President brought the matter to the FEC’s attention, wanting to know if phony bank accounts were set up to ease the transactions. The agency said it would investigate, but by December, 2017 had not made any detectable effort to do so.
Now, a lawsuit is on the clock.
The Committee to Defend the President is forcing a ruling out of the FEC. In April it filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court, District of Columbia, saying that by failing to investigate the complaint, the agency had shown its actions to be “arbitrary, capricious, contrary to law, and an abuse of discretion.”
On June 22, the FEC must file an answer — either to admit or deny. It might file a motion to dismiss. If so, the Committee to Defend the President will likely file for a summary judgment, and litigation could continue well into the future.
Must Read Alaska wrote about the Alaska Democratic Party’s money-laundering scheme with the Democratic National Committee back in 2016 in a report that also detailed some of the Wikileak documents showing how the state party colluded with the Hillary Clinton campaign and then-Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz to swing the results of the Democrats’ National Convention process, toward Hillary Clinton and against Bernie Sanders.
The move angered many Alaska Democrats, who gave Sanders his largest win outside of Vermont, his home state. Sanders won 80 percent of the Alaska Democratic vote, a trend that was evident in every borough across the state.
Nevertheless, there were major supporters for Hillary Clinton in Alaska in 2016, as evidenced by this fundraising brochure, which features many state Democrat heavy hitters, including cohost Mark Begich: