Despite FEC Complaint, Trump Continues to Solicit Contributions from Foreigners

On Saturday Donald Trump renewed his attack on Hillary CLinton for supposedly being in thrall of “Wall Street, lobbyists and special interests” even while he was busy illegally soliciting money from members of foreign governments, including Australian members of parliament and members of the U.K. House of Commons, all despite a previously issued FEC warning.

We have already seen that Trump owes a big chunk of money to Deutsche Bank, which alone stamps “SOLD!” all over him, but it is worse than that; as Mother Jones put it, Deutsche Bank is “a foreign entity that has tried to evade laws aimed at curtailing risky financial shenanigans, that was recently caught manipulating markets around the world, and that attempts to influence the US government.”

And then there are Trump’s unusual ties to Russia and its oligarchs, including strongman Vladimir Putin, as detailed by The Washington Post.

Apparently being owned by a German bank and reliant on money from Russian oligarchs isn’t enough for Trump. The Hill reported Saturday that “Trump’s campaign solicits illegal foreign donations despite warnings.”

That’s right. Hypocrite Donald says he isn’t owned by anybody. But he wants to be. He wants to be owned “foreign individuals – including members of foreign governments” and it is not a matter of them offering to buy him, but of Trump soliciting them “at their official email addresses,” says The Hill.

The thing about Trump’s solicitations from among foreign government officials – besides being illegal, that is – is that he had already been busted for doing just that, and proceeded to continue with his solicitations “two weeks after a widely publicized Federal Election Commission (FEC) complain issued on June 29 by nonpartisan watchdogs Democracy 21 and the Campaign Legal Center.”

A press release from Democracy 21 says,

Donald J. Trump’s presidential campaign committee is violating black-letter federal law by sending campaign fundraising emails to foreign nationals – including foreign politicians – in at least Iceland, Scotland, Australia and Britain. The Campaign Legal Center and Democracy 21 today will file a complaint with the Federal Election Commission highlighting this violation and demanding the agency send a clear message that foreign money is not allowed in U.S. elections.

Paul S. Ryan, CLC deputy executive director said of Trump’s actions,

Donald Trump should have known better. It is a no-brainer that it violates the law to send fundraising emails to members of a foreign government on their official foreign government email accounts, and yet, that’s exactly what Trump has done repeatedly. The FEC’s forum last week highlighted how foreign corporate money could infiltrate U.S. elections, but Trump’s fundraising antics show that the FEC must also monitor candidates directly soliciting foreign money.
 
“If the FEC fails to take action on our complaint, it could send a message that Trump and other candidates have the greenlight to fundraise overseas.”

We are told “The Trump campaign did not respond to multiple requests for comment” by The Hill. Of course not, the Trump campaign is too busy saying “Look over there!” and accusing Hillary Clinton of being owned by outside interests.

Though it must be said, at least the people who reputedly own Hillary are Americans. If America is going to be sold down the tubes, as Trump puts it, it will at least be American tubes, while his plan is to, apparently, outsource the entire government to the highest bidder.

One British member of Parliament, we are told by The Hill, said he has “received three solicitations from the Trump campaign.” Trump doesn’t have the money he claims he has, and his campaign has even less. Wall Street is terrified of what a Donald Trump presidency represents and is not surprising that the GOP is not getting the money it used to get from that source.

If Trump wants more money, he needs to show himself to be more stable and trustworthy. If he will not do that, it does not become magically legal for him to sell himself to the highest bidders in foreign governments. The presidency is not for sale, and U.S. foreign policy should not be based on who will give a washed-up former reality star the most money.

It is time for the FEC to act, and act decisively, to save American democracy from oligarchs both foreign and domestic.