A complaint filed against Senator Bernie Sanders by a Hillary Clinton super was dismissed by the Federal Election Commission in April. The commission’s decision made public only this Friday.
During the 2016 Democratic primary campaign, a complaint was filed alleging that Sanders, an independent, and his campaign treasurer, Susan Jackson, accepted excessive contributions.
It is clearly stated in Title 52 of federal campaign finance rules that no individual can make a contribution to a candidate in excess of $2,700.
- No person shall make contributions to any candidate and his authorized political committees with respect to any election for Federal office which, in the aggregate, exceed $2,000.
- No person shall make contributions to the political committees established and maintained by a national political party, which is not the authorized political committees of any candidate, in any calendar year which, in the aggregate, exceed $25,000.
Brad Woodhouse, founder of the American Democracy Legal Fund and president of the pro-Clinton super PAC Correct the Record, filed a complaint against Bernie Sanders on April 8, 2016, alleging that the 75-year-old Democrat violated Title 52. Both the super PAC and the American Democracy Legal Fund were founded by Clinton supporter David Brock.
The complaint was based upon information from the Commission’s Requests for Additional Information (RFAIs) to the Committee regarding excessive contributions disclosed on the Committee’s 2015 October quarterly report and 2015 year-end report.
“The Committee disclosed $97,985 in excessive contributions on its 2015 October Quarterly Report and $49,325 in excessive contributions on its 2015 Year-End Report, as identified in the Commission’s RFAIs addressed to the Committee. While the Committee asserts that it timely refunded or reattributed all of the excessive contributions reported on those 15 two reports, the Committee’s disclosure reports indicate that excessive contributions from ten contributors totaling $5,487 on the 2015 October Quarterly Report and excessive contributions totaling $1,975 from six contributors on the 2015 Year-End Report were not refunded.”
After the official complaint was filed by Brad along with two others, Sander’s campaign manager Jeff Weaver dismissed all the allegations by stating that the filed complaint against Bernie Sanders is “baseless and frivolous.”
“Just one day after the Clinton campaign said we needed to change our tone, the leaders of their coordinated super PAC, which is funded by millions from Wall Street, filed baseless and frivolous complaints with the FEC,” MSNBC reported.
Following is the verdict of the Federal Election Commission:
“On April 20, 2017, the Federal Election Commission reviewed the allegations in your complaint received on April 8, 2016, and on the basis of the information provided in your complaint, and information provided by Bernie 2016 and Susan Jackson in her official capacity as treasurer, the Commission voted to dismiss the allegation that the Committee violated 52 U.S.C. § 30116(f),” read the letter detailing the dismissal of the complaint. “Documents related to the case will be placed on the public record within 30 days.”
When Hillary defeated Sanders to be the Democratic nominee, David Brock talked about his relationship with Bernie Sanders. In his open letter, he apologized for going too hard on him. He even stated that he regrets his decision for going ahead with the alleged claims.
“It’s no secret who I supported. I was one of the most visible and vocal advocates of Secretary Hillary Clinton. Many others backed you, Senator Sanders, with contagious zeal. At times during the Democratic primary, I was criticized for being too aggressive in my support for Secretary Clinton — and rightly so. Looking back, I recognize that there were a few moments when my drive to put Hillary in the White House led me to take too stiff a jab. I own up to that, I regret it, and I apologize to you and your supporters for it.”
[Featured Image by Andrew Harnik/AP Images]