Donald Trump’s campaign might be walking across figurative lava rocks after a revealing Barnes and Noble purchase.
The Federal Election Commission (FEC) says Donald Trump’s purchase is potentially illegal in his presidential campaign. And, it’s for good reason. There’s only one way the commission will allow it to pass.
$55k In Campaign Donations?
According to Daily Beast, Donald Trump used campaign funds to purchase thousands of copies of his own book, Crippled America: How to Make America Great Again.
What kind of shady “malarkey” is this?
This would seemingly place donors’ monies back into his own pocket, would it not?
Well, this — in part — is why the FEC mentions the possible illegality of Donald Trump’s purchase, as concerns his campaign.
The source notes a Trump spokesperson as stating the books were purchased for campaign purposes.
Apparently, in July, at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Donald Trump gave out several “goody bags” to his supporters.
In those bags, mentions the source, there were copies of his book, Kleenex, and “Make America Great Again!” cups, shirts, and caps.
So, what’s Donald Trump to do?
The FEC mentions that candidate Trump can’t accept any of the royalties from his book purchase. If he does, it will make his campaign move an illegal one.
Campaign Legal Center spokesperson Paul Ryan (not to be confused with the congressman of the same name) mentions the following statements regarding Trump’s move.
“It’s fine for a candidate’s book to be purchased by his committee, but it’s impermissible to receive royalties from the publisher. That amounts to an illegal conversion of campaign funds to personal use. There’s a well established precedent from the FEC that funds from the campaign account can’t end up in your own pocket.”
Where’s The Transparency?
The source mentions that neither Donald Trump, his campaign committee, nor his publisher commented when asked whether he would accept those royalties.
“But, what about the time the FEC allowed G.O.P. Rep. Paul Ryan to purchase copies of his own book, The Way Forward?” you might ask.
In 2014, the Federal Election Committee allowed this because it was agreed, beforehand, that he would not accept any royalties from his publisher — just as Donald Trump is supposed to similarly do.
In that situation, Ryan’s publisher agreed to donate all royalties, which would usually go to Paul, to a charitable organization unaffiliated with the candidate or his family.
The FEC’s site also listed a direct statement including the campaign committee’s intentions with the books.
Donald Trump has done none of these things.
The Daily Beast forewarns with the following statements about Trump’s presidential spending habits — habits showing themselves evident before even being nominated as president.
“Previous FEC filings have revealed the Trump campaign spends millions utilizing Tag Air Inc., of which Trump is CEO, to travel by private jet. He also uses Trump buildings to house members of his staff and to host official events, and frequents the Trump Grill in the lobby of Trump Tower.
“No other presidential candidate in history has had access to such a vast universe of self-titled business to frequent during their campaign.”
The source notes that many authors tend to purchase bulk copies of their own books as part of a publisher deal. However, one publishing expert says Donald Trump’s execution seems “suspicious” at the least.
Essentially, publishing expert Ben Bruton mentions the actions as profitable. As in, it appears that Donald Trump is attempting to get back on “bestseller” lists or attempting to pocket the royalties from the sales.
All in all, what are your thoughts regarding Donald Trump’s campaign? Has he done one honest thing during its course? Feel free to share your comments in the section below.
[Photo by Gerald Herbert/AP Images]