New Evidence Suggests Mercer-Backed Super PAC Unlawfully Coordinated with Trump Campaign

Apr 12, 2017
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CLC offers the FEC new evidence of the super PAC’s illegal compensation to Steve Bannon, asks California Attorney General to examine Bannon’s “Glittering Steel”

WASHINGTON - Today, the Campaign Legal Center (CLC) filed new evidence with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) alleging that the super PAC Make America Number 1 made illegal contributions to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. CLC also asked the State of California to investigate a company owned by Bannon, Glittering Steel LLC, for failing to comply with state registration and public disclosure laws.

The FEC letter provided new evidence that the Mercer super PAC 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. The letter is a follow-up to the complaint filed by CLC on Oct. 6, 2016.

“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,” said Brendan Fischer, director of the federal and FEC reform program at the Campaign Legal Center.

Additionally, Fischer added, “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.”   

CLC also filed a new letter with California’s Attorney General and Secretary of State asking for a review of Glittering Steel LLC’s compliance with state law. Glittering Steel never registered to do business in California, but Make America Number 1’s FEC filings show millions in payments to Glittering Steel at a California address, and Bannon on his personal financial disclosure stated that he was paid by Glittering Steel through his California-based consulting firm. Entities engaged in intrastate commerce in California must register and publicly disclose their board membership, and may be subject to taxation.

“Bannon’s company appears to have dodged the California disclosure requirements that would provide more public information that could inform whether it broke federal campaign finance law,” said Fischer.

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