Rachel Maddow highlighted the Giffords lawsuit that accused the NRA of making $35 million in illegal contributions to Republicans like Josh Hawley and Trump.
Rachel Maddow highlights the Giffords lawsuit exposing the NRA's $35 million in illegal campaign contributions to Senators like Josh Hawley and former President Trump. pic.twitter.com/M8AnbNyRkS
— Sarah Reese Jones (@PoliticusSarah) November 5, 2021
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Maddow said of the lawsuit:
A judge ordered the FEC to act. The FEC did not act. When the FEC did not act, the judge said, okay, you can sue them privately, so now they have. This brand new lawsuit names the NRA but also specifically Josh Hawley’s campaign as well as the campaign of another Republican they allege coordinated illegally with the NRA, a congressman named Matt Rosendale who lost his senate race in Montana to Jon Tester, the Democratic senator.
Also named are the senate campaigns of Thom Tillis, Arkansas’s Tom cotton, Wisconsin’s Ron Johnson, and former Colorado Republican Senator Cory Gardner. The NRA has engaged in an ongoing scheme to evade campaign finance contributions by coordinating advertising with at least seven candidates for federal office.
Through this scheme, two NRA affiliates made up to $35 million in illegal, excessive, and unreported campaign contributions across the 2014, 2016, and 2018 elections, including up to $25 million to the Trump campaign in 2016. $25 million in illegal donations to the Trump campaign in 2016? Plus, all those Republican senators? This feels like a big deal on a few different levels. For one, it’s a big deal these groups may have found a way to actually maybe enforce campaign finance law which has been the wild west for years now because the federal agency that’s supposed to police this stuff is functionally dead
. But also $35 million is a lot of money. That’s a lot of allegedly illegal money washing around in Republican campaigns. That’s enough money to potentially have had a major effect on the outcome of multiple elections.
The contributions were clearly illegal, and Republicans and the NRA thought that they would never be caught. Claire McCaskill lost the Senate race to Josh Hawley, and while Hawley might have won without the illegal NRA money, we will never know for sure how much the illegal donations helped.
Republicans thought that they had it all figured out and could break the law with impunity, but the Giffords lawsuit might have cracked the code.
Jason is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association