Trump’s ‘secret loan’ broke federal law, says CLC

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President Donald trump likely violated federal campaign finance laws when he secretly loaned himself $ 30 million in 2016, according to a government nonprofit watchdog.

“Voters had a right to know where Trump was getting the money for his 2016 campaign,” the Campaign Legal Center (CLC) said in an email denouncing the 45th president for an alleged accounting trick that could have been used to circumvent limits on campaign contributions.

Friday morning the New York Times reported that in September 2016, as his electoral chances grew and faded day by day – and his campaign failed to convince GOP megadoners to hand over huge sums of money – Trump had surreptitiously taken out a $ 30 million bank loan on behalf of a limited liability company. (LLC) which he jointly owns with the billionaire “casino magnate” Phil ruffin. CLC called this a “$ 30 million secret loan.”

The transaction used Trump Tower Las Vegas as collateral.

Six weeks later, Trump donated $ 10 million to his cash-poor presidential campaign, without acknowledging the apparent source of the funds. The Federal Campaign Finance Act contains special reporting rules for bank loans to candidates as well as special and specific reporting rules for personal loans from a candidate to himself. In each case, these reporting standards are mandatory.

Speak Time:

The new discoveries, which are part of TimeMr. Trump’s ongoing investigation has shed light on Mr. Trump’s financial maneuvers during this time of fiscal turmoil and unlikely political victory. Indeed, they may offer a clue to one of the lingering mysteries of his campaign: In his final days, with his own donations reduced to a trickle, Mr. Trump contributed $ 10 million, leaving many people wonder where the money explosion came from. of.

The sequence of events has sounded the alarm among legal experts entrenched in the country’s campaign finance laws.

“If Trump secretly funded his 2016 campaign using an undisclosed bank loan backed by a billionaire developer, then voters have been illegally deprived of important information about the true sources of Trump’s financial support,” CLC. Trevor Potter, in a report. “If Trump took out a bank loan on behalf of the LLC for the purpose of financing his election, then the Trump campaign violated its legal reporting obligations by not disclosing the loan and only disclosing Trump’s Vegas property. was used as collateral. “

the Time also reported that the LLC in question – Trump Las Vegas Sales and Marketing – claimed a deduction from the payment made to Trump in 2016. If the $ 30 million loan was in fact used to fund the then-private president’s campaign ‘money, the potential crime would be magnified.

Also, if the LLC took a tax deduction for payments to Trump, it would mean Trump secretly relied on taxpayers to help subsidize his 2016 campaign, “Potter added. “Disclosure to voters in 2016 would have been important, as Trump’s claim that he was self-financing his campaign was central to his campaign message and gave him a veneer of credibility to accuse his rivals of being beholden to the wealthy. special interests. “

The CLC press release also added another potential legal loophole for the Trump loan co-signer:

Time also reports that Ruffin guaranteed the loan. Under the Campaign Finance Act, such a guarantee is considered a contribution to the candidate, subject to legal limits and reporting obligations. If the loan had been used as part of Trump’s campaign, then Ruffin would have made an illegal contribution to Trump’s campaign, potentially valued at $ 30 million. Trump allegedly broke the law by accepting an excess contribution from Ruffin in the form of a loan guarantee and failing to return it.

[image via Joshua Roberts/Getty Images]

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