The Democratic Coalition has filed an FBI complaint against Trump Campaign Chairman Steven Bannon, which alleging that he violated a federal campaign finance law coordinating Super PAC activities with the Trump campaign, and receiving payments from it after becoming officially part of the Republican campaign.
Bannon’s recent appointment as a Senior White House Advisor has caused shock waves throughout American media for his alt-right connections and headlines from his Breitbart News outlet.
Bannon’s production company Glittering Steel LLC made “Clinton Cash” as an electioneering communication.
The Make America Number 1 PAC sent payments to Glittering Steel LLC in the amount of $950,090 during the 2016 primary and general election cycle until this September.
This spreadsheet contains lists all payments, with links to the corresponding public records.
The Federal Election Campaign Act is enforced by the FBI, whose first ever prosecution under the act concluded last year with a Virginia man being sentenced to 24 months in a plea bargain deal. The Democratic Coalition wrote:
On Tuesday morning, the Democratic Coalition Against Trump reported Trump Senior Advisor and Former Trump campaign CEO Steve Bannon to the FBI for breaking campaign finance law. 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.
The propaganda film “Clinton Cash” was written for the screen and produced by Stephen Bannon himself according to a Breitbart News report on August 12th, 2016, and it was presented by ‘Glittering Steel.’ Glittering Steel LLC is itself a Delaware LLC.
Breitbart also reported that Bannon was the Director of a Glittering Steel/Citizens United movie about a controversial reality television star from Duck Dynasty.
The Democratic Coalition’s complaint continues:
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.
“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 coalition. “I can only hope that the FBI will investigate this incident without being clouded by Bannon’s new position.”
The Make America Number 1 PAC Employed Both Bannon and Campaign Manager Kellyanne Conway In This Year’s Election Cycle
Keep The Promise I PAC was started as a pro-Ted Cruz PAC and later changed its name and support to Republican nominee Donald Trump.
Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway ran the Keep the Promise I PAC earlier this year, and Politico reported that she earned a handsome profit for her work in October.
Make America Number 1 PAC sent most of the payments to Glittering Steel LLC at 8383 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 1000, Beverly Hills, Ca.
The Daily Beast reports that it is also the address of Freemark Financial, who is Bannon’s Hollywood financial manager, and that insiders say that Glittering Steel LLC is definitely a Bannon vehicle.
That is also Bannon’s agent’s address and the address of Breitbart News LLC according to Manta, where payments were sent from July 2015 until the middle of August 2016.
Stephen Bannon was named Trump Campaign Chairman on August 17th, 2016.
A search of the internet only revealed a single news story about Bannon and Arlington, Virginia, when the alt-right newsman was congratulated by Richard Spencer of the National Policy Institute, which is based in that city. Spencer coined the term “alt-right” to mean white nationalism or white supremacy.
It’s unknown if the re-direction of payments is linked to Spencer, and Stephen Bannon is publicly known to use numerous addresses, including maintaining his active voter’s registration at an abandoned house in Miami after being elevated to lead the Trump Campaign.
Then in October, the Campaign Legal Center filed an FEC complaint against the Make America Number 1 PAC alleging that the Mercers used it to circumvent donation limits.
Rebekah Mercer is the daughter of Trump mega-donor Robert Mercer and a herself newly named member of the Trump Transition team’s executive committee.
Additionally, The Daily Beast reported that Bannon has not been paid on any of the Trump Campaign’s official expense reports as of this morning, in a story entitled “Was Steve Bannon, Donald Trump’s Attack Dog, Paid Illegally?” after having previously reported in October that emails purported to show Bannon claiming influence in the Trump campaign, long before being elevated to Chairman.
It will require a complete investigation into Glittering Steel LLC and the Make America Number 1 PAC to ultimately determine if Stephen Bannon’s work for the PAC’s contractor and the Trump Campaign violated federal election laws.
Here is the Democratic Coalition’s complaint:
Author’s Note: This story has been updated to demote references to the 120 day rule, and to add comment from the Democratic Coalition’s press release.