Up to 40 Democratic parties at the state level may have participated in a scheme to feed $84 million to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign in 2016, a campaign lawyer claims.
Dan Backer, a Virginia-based attorney, filed a lawsuit claiming that the parties planned to bypass federal campaign contribution limits.
“You had individuals giving $300,000,” Backer told the Las Vegas Review-JournalFriday. “They’re not doing it because they care about Nevada’s or Arkansas’ state party. They’re doing it to curry favor with and buy influence with Hillary Clinton.”
Backer, who represents a pro-Trump political action committee called the Committee to Defend the President, initially filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) in December, alleging that Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) colluded with state-level parties to bypass federal campaign contribution limits.
Backer said he filed his latest lawsuit because the FEC failed to act before the deadline.
The campaign finance attorney said records show the Hillary Victory Fund transferred $1.7 million to the Nevada Democratic Party from December 2015 to November 2016. But the state party claimed it received only $146,200 and transferred the money to the DNC.
He added that the Hillary Victory Fund sent the other $1.6 million to the Nevada Democratic Party, but the DNC received the money and it never showed up on the state party’s campaign finance reports.
Other state parties reportedly took part in the scheme as well.
The Idaho Statesman reported that Idaho Democratic Party allegedly chipped in $1.6 million to the scheme in 13 installments, although party officials might not have been aware of how their money had been handled.
In Delaware, state Democrats received $2.4 million from the Hillary Victory Fund over 11 installments before transferring nearly the same amount to the DNC, WXDE reported.
Several spokespersons for the state Democratic parties refuted these claims as nothing more than “a political stunt.”
“This is nothing more than a bogus political stunt feebly designed to distract from vulnerable Republicans’ disastrous agenda,” Helen Kalla, a spokeswoman for the Nevada Democratic Party, told the Review-Journal.
“Let’s be clear, this is nothing more than a Beltway political stunt led by the pro-Trump PAC ‘The Committee to Defend the President,’ one that’s simply designed to distract Delaware voters,” Jesse Chadderdon, the Delaware Democratic Party’s executive director, told WXDE.
Donna Brazile, former interim chair of the DNC, noted that Clinton campaign had influenced the DNC long before Hillary Clinton won the primary against Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT).
Brazile revealed in November that former DNC chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-FL) agreed to let the Clinton campaign control party operations. She added that the campaign, in turn, agreed to help the DNC with fundraising to get the party out of debt.