The 3rd largest FEC fine in history was just levied and it’s against someone you might not expect. The Jeb Bush Super PAC that eventually morphed into a prominent Never Trump effort, “Right to Rise,” has been caught red-handed accepting an illegal $1.3M donation from a Chinese corporation. You can view the official letter below.
HUGE: @FEC has levied its biggest fine since Citizens United & 3rd largest in history after investigation found pro-Jeb! Bush super PAC Right to Rise illegally took $1.3 million donation from Chinese-owned corporation—breaking federal law barring foreign interference in elections pic.twitter.com/qujTg9ZI0n
— Anna Massoglia (@annalecta) March 11, 2019
Was this just an innocent mistake? No, it doesn’t look like it was.
The Intercept has determined that a corporation owned by a Chinese couple made a major donation to Jeb Bush’s Super PAC Right to Rise USA — and it did so after receiving detailed advice from Charlie Spies, arguably the most important Republican campaign finance lawyer in American politics…
…Spies presented his advice in a memo, obtained by The Intercept, which he prepared for Right to Rise USA, where he served as treasurer and general counsel. “We conclude,” he wrote, “that a domestic subsidiary corporation may now directly contribute to a Super PAC in connection with a federal election.”
Not only did they knowingly take this illegal donation, they did so thinking they had successfully circumvented federal election law. To be sure, this Chinese company was not handing over $1.3M just because they thought Jeb! was a good guy. There was clearly some kind of promise of influence or policy made to elicit such a donation. What that was, we don’t know yet.
There’s a lot of hypocrisy being exposed in the aftermath of this. For example, the person who ran Right to Rise is Mike Murphy, a noted Never Trump enthusiast and Trump/Russia conspiracy theorist. Notice his Twitter bio (credit here for pointing this out).
Anyone surprised he works for rabid anti-Trumper and newly minted liberal, Tom Nichols? He’s also an “NBC analyst,” (of course) because the quickest way to get a job in media is to be a “Republican” who pushes Russian conspiracy theories. Murphy’s Twitter is plastered with Trump-Putin memes for obvious reasons. He also describes himself as “infuriated,” no doubt another symptom of his hysterical response to the current President.
These people have spent years accusing Trump of being under foreign influence and breaking campaign finance law. In reality, they were doing exactly what they accused Trump of. I have a feeling those same voices won’t be calling for jail time here because this was never about principle. It was simply about politics. There’s a certain amount of schadenfreude in all this and it’s pretty enjoyable.
Enjoying the read? Please visit my archive and check out some of some of my other, latest articles
Please follow and share on Twitter: @bonchieredstate