A Democrat super PAC is trying to ensure Donald Trump won’t run for president again by accusing him of breaking campaign finance law. The Democrat PAC, American Bridge, filed a formal complaint Federal Election Commission on Monday accusing Trump of violating campaign finance law by spending political funds on a 2024 presidential bid without formally declaring himself a candidate.
According to the FEC, after a politician has decided to run for federal office and begun fund-raising, they are then supposed to file paperwork declaring the candidacy. There is also an interim step for those who are “testing the waters” of a run. American Bridge claims Trump has already done both in its complaint.
According to The New York Times:
The complaint uses Mr. Trump’s own words about a 2024 run — “I know what I’m going to do, but we’re not supposed to be talking about it yet from the standpoint of campaign finance laws,” he said in the fall — to accuse him of improperly using his existing political committees to advance a presidential run.
Federal law requires those who raise or spend more than $5,000 in support of a presidential campaign to register with the Federal Election Commission.
Trump has repeatedly hinted at launching a third presidential campaign but has stopped short of making any formal announcement. Last month during a speech at the Conservative Police Action Conference, Trump gave his strongest indication yet that he will run in 2024.
“He should have to adhere to the law in a way that all other candidates do,” said Jessica Floyd, the president of American Bridge, the Democratic group that is filing the complaint. “When he says ‘I’m going to do it a third time,’ that’s not flirting. That’s more than a toe dip.”
Ms. Floyd noted that Mr. Trump’s citations of campaign law show clear intentions to evade the existing rules. “It’s not like he doesn’t know what he’s doing,” she said.
Trump spokesperson, Taylor Budowich. called the complaint frivolous.
“America is spiraling into disaster because of the Democrats’ failures, and instead of reversing course, they are busy filing frivolous complaints that have zero merit,” he said.
There is no legal barrier to Trump making an official announcement, however, he would be restricted to additional fund-raising limits and disclosure requirements if he did so.