A lawsuit alleges that up to 40 state-level Democratic parties participated in a scheme to illegally funnel up to $84 million into the 2016 presidential campaign for Hillary Clinton, according to published reports.
How was this done?
Dan Backer, a Virginia campaign finance attorney who filed the lawsuit, alleges that the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee funneled money to state parties that in turn sent the money back to the DNC to support Clinton, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported. The maneuver was done to circumvent campaign contribution limits, according to the lawsuit.
According to records Backer gave to the newspaper, the Hillary Victory Fund transferred more than $1.7 million to the Nevada Democratic Party between December 2015 and November 2016. But the party only reported receiving and transferring $146,200 to the DNC.
The Victory Fund was a joint fundraising committee that included Clinton's presidential campaign, the Democratic National Committee, and state Democratic committees.
The remaining $1.6 million was sent by the Hillary Victory Fund to the Nevada party and received by the DNC and never appeared on the Nevada party’s reports, according to Backer.
Backer represents the Committee to Defend the President, a pro-President Donald Trump political action committee. The organization previously filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission in December, the Las Vegas Review Journal reported.
Becker said the Federal Election Commission missed a deadline to take action and that prompted his lawsuit.
Nevada’s Democratic Party among the state organizations named in the lawsuit, according to the report.
“You had individuals giving $300,000,” Backer told the Review Journal. “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.”
Nevada Democratic Party spokeswoman Helen Kalla countered that statement, saying:
This is nothing more than a bogus political stunt feebly designed to distract from vulnerable Republicans’ disastrous agenda.
“The remaining $1.6 million was sent by the Hillary Victory Fund to the Nevada party and received by the DNC and never appeared on the Nevada party’s reports,” according to the report.
What happened in Idaho?
In Idaho, Democrats allegedly gave $1.6 million to the plan over the course of 13 transactions, the Idaho Statesman reported.
The paper added that local party officials may not have been aware of how the money was handled.