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The Democratic Coalition filed a complaint with the FBI on Tuesday against Trump Chief Strategist Steven Bannon, alleging that Bannon violated a federal campaign finance law by receiving payments from a Super PAC after becoming the CEO of Trump's campaign, which is strictly illegal. The Huffington Post broke the news:
"Over the course of the Trump campaign, Bannon was paid $950,090 by pro-Trump Super PAC, Make America Number 1, through his company Glittering Steel LLC, both before and after Bannon assumed his role as campaign CEO. [...]"According to federal campaign finance law, it is illegal for Super PACs to coordinate operations with campaigns. Additionally, there is a 120-day 'cooling off' period for when Super PAC employees leave to work on the campaign their PAC was supporting to avoid any potential coordination. Steve Bannon was paid by Make America Number 1 on August 8, 2016, and then became Trump campaign CEO on August 17, 2016, directly violating the 120-day cooling off period. Additionally, Bannon was paid by the PAC after he became campaign CEO, which likely means there was coordination."
It's not only illegal, it's a felony for a Super PAC to coordinate operations with a campaign. That's why the 120-day cooling off rule exists. If these allegations are proven against Bannon, it could mean that he flagrantly violated federal campaign finance law.
Additionally, The Daily Beast couldn't find any payments made to Bannon and recorded with the FEC; but they did find checks cut by the Super PAC to Bannon's movie making company:
"At issue are payments of nearly $200,000 that a super PAC called Make America Number 1 made to a company tied to Bannon. On Aug. 17, Bannon left his post as chairman of Breitbart News and became the Trump campaign's CEO. Available FEC filings show the campaign didn't pay Bannon a salary. Larry Noble, General Counsel for the Campaign Legal Center, said he believes the super PAC covertly paid Bannon for his campaign work through his moviemaking company. Neither the super PAC nor Bannon provided a response to Noble's comment.
"In an Oct. 6 complaint to the Federal Election Commission, the Campaign Legal Center argued that Robert and Rebekah Mercer -- a father-daughter duo who give generously to conservative causes and candidates -- broke federal campaign laws by paying Bannon for his work so the campaign wouldn't have to shoulder the cost. Robert Mercer is a reclusive billionaire hedge-fund manager, and his daughter oversees much of his political giving. She's also on Trump's transition team.
"The Campaign Legal Center says the new FEC filings undergird their case against the Mercers. Those filings cover the final weeks before Election Day, up until Nov. 5, and they show that a super PAC funded largely by the Mercers -- Make America Number 1 -- paid Bannon's moviemaking company, Glittering Steel, $187,500 during that window of time. The super PAC cut Glittering Steel five checks from Oct. 1 to Nov. 5: one for $40,500, one for $50,000, one for $37,500, one for $34,500, and one for $25,000."
"This is yet another example of the corruption that took place over the course of the Trump campaign. Except now, Steve Bannon has a spot as a senior advisor to the White House," said Scott Dworkin, Senior Advisor to the Democratic coalition. "I can only hope that the FBI will investigate this incident without being clouded by Bannon's new position."
Indeed the FBI should investigate and well before Inauguration Day.