A watchdog group has filed a lawsuit
against the Federal Election Commission
for refusing to investigate a complaint alleging illegal coordination between Donald Trump
's presidential campaign and a super PAC
during the 2020 election
The federal lawsuit, filed Monday in the District of Columbia by Campaign Legal Center Action on behalf of End Citizens United
, questioned the Republican
FEC commissioners' decision to reject an investigation
without providing a reason, according to The Hill.
The lawsuit requests that the court direct the FEC to investigate whether the Trump campaign violated campaign finance
“We should not have to sue the FEC repeatedly to get it to do its job,” Adav Noti, senior director of trial
litigation at CLCA, said in a statement. “Yet here is another example of the FEC refusing to enforce key laws that protect American voters
In May 2019, the groups filed a complaint accusing the Trump campaign of issuing a blanket endorsement of all contributions to the super PAC America First Action, allowing illegal unlimited corporate funds to be fed directly to the campaign and its candidate from the super PAC.
Despite the FEC's general counsel's determination that there was probable cause to believe the Trump campaign violated the law, Republican commissioners obstructed an investigation and dismissed the complaint.
According to the lawsuit, the FEC's decision to dismiss the plaintiff's complaint was "arbitrary, capricious, and contrary to law," and "the Commission did not even issue an explanation for its action, without which its decision fails to meet the most basic requirement of reasoned decision-making."
The FEC makes no comments on legal matters.
Earlier this month, the National Enquirer
's owner agreed to pay a $187,500 civil penalty to the FEC for illegally assisting Trump's 2016 campaign by suppressing a story about a woman who claimed she had an affair with him.
The commission found reason to believe that American Media
Inc., the tabloid's parent company, and former CEO
David Pecker "knowingly and willfully" made an illegal corporate contribution to Trump's campaign when it paid $150,000 to keep model Karen McDougal
's story quiet in August 2016.