16
Dec

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 16, 2016

Contact: Daniel Stevens, 202.780.5750, dstevens@campaignforaccountability.org

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today,

Campaign for Accountability and Free Speech For People called on the Federal Election Commission (FEC) to immediately investigate whether the Russian government, which paid hackers to aid Donald Trump’s campaign, illegally influenced the presidential election.  The Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA) prohibits foreign nationals from spending money to influence American elections.

Read the complaint here.

In recent weeks, the FBI and CIA concluded Russia intervened in the 2016 election to help Donald Trump win the presidency.  Hackers, paid by the Russian government, stole records from Democratic Party institutions and released them to WikiLeaks to aid President-elect Trump’s candidacy.   The Russian government also paid computer experts, posing as American citizens, to post pro-Trump, anti-Clinton material on various third-party web sites and social media platforms.

Furthermore, Donald Trump’s campaign may have illegally coordinated with the Russian government.  In June. President-elect Trump called on the Russian government to hack into Hillary Clinton’s email.  Additionally, three individuals who worked for the Trump campaign also had ties to the Russian government.  If the Russian government paid any of these individuals in connection with the actions above, it would constitute a violation of federal laws and regulations.

“The Federal Election Commission is charged with protecting the impartiality of America’s elections,” said Anne Weismann, the Executive Director of the Campaign for Accountability.  “The agency must immediately open an investigation into whether the Russian government illegally aided Donald Trump’s campaign for the Presidency.  It is hard to imagine a more clear-cut case of a foreign national attempting to influence an American election: the CIA and the FBI have both concluded that hackers paid by the Russian government aided President-elect Trump’s campaign.”

“Up until now, the recent revelations of potential interference by the Russian government in the 2016 presidential election have invoked serious national security concerns,” said Ron Fein, Free Speech For People’s Legal Director and counsel of record on the FEC complaint.  “But, of equal importance is the question of whether any laws of the United States may have been violated and, if so, who committed those violations.  The Federal Election Commission must investigate whether the Russian government, in possible coordination with the Trump campaign, violated federal campaign finance law designed to protect our democracy against corruption and foreign influence.”

Campaign for Accountability is a nonprofit watchdog organization that uses research, litigation, and aggressive communications to expose misconduct and malfeasance in public life and hold those who act at the expense of the public good accountable for their actions.

Free Speech For People is a national non-partisan organization that works to restore republican democracy to the people, including through legal advocacy concerning the law of campaign finance.  The Campaign for Accountability is a national non-partisan project which uses research, litigation, and communications to expose misconduct and malfeasance in public life.