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Common Cause v. Rep. Matt Gaetz (Office Lease)

Legal Filings

On April 22, 2020, Common Cause filed complaints with the Department of Justice (DOJ), the U.S. House Committee on House Administration, and the Office of Congressional Ethics against Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) and his landlord and donor Collier Merrill for their failure to disclose their longstanding relationship while seeking the required congressional approval of an office lease. The complaints urge an investigation into whether both men violated the criminal law prohibition on concealment of material facts in filings or statements to the federal government, and whether Rep. Gaetz is violating House gift rules by paying less than market value for his office rent.

Money & Influence 03.18.2019

Common Cause v. Cindy Yang et al.

Legal Filings

On March 18, 2019, Common Cause filed complaints with the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Election Commission (FEC) alleging reason to believe that a Florida businesswoman violated campaign finance laws by enlisting and reimbursing “straw donors” tens of thousands of dollars in political contributions related to the reelection efforts of Donald Trump. The New York Times had reported on March 16 that Li Juan “Cindy” Yang appears to have recruited a number of employees and family members in order to meet the $50,000 price tag for a photo with President Trump at a Republican National Committee fundraiser at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, FL in March 2018. According to the report several of the employees of massage parlors and other businesses associated with Yang who contributed $5,400 appeared to be of modest means – working as receptionists and giving facials – and atypical of contributors giving such large amounts to political campaigns or committees.

Money & Influence 09.25.2018

Washington Post v. McManus

Legal Filings

In August 2018, the Washington Post, Baltimore Sun and other local newspapers sued the state of Maryland challenging the constitutionality of the state’s recently-enacted campaign finance disclosure law that requires certain "online platforms" to collect and make available to the public information about groups and individuals that pay to place political ads on such online platforms.

Money & Influence 03.5.2018

Common Cause v. Trump, America First Policies, et al.

Legal Filings

On March 5, 2018, Common Cause filed complaints with the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Election Commission (FEC) alleging reason to believe that President Trump and his campaign violated numerous federal campaign finance laws by setting up super PAC America First Policies (AFP) and dark money group America First Action (AFA) to raise and spend unlimited "soft money" to influence federal elections, including President Trump's 2020 reelection efforts. The March 2018 complaint also alleges Vice President Pence and his leadership PAC, the Republican National Committee (RNC), and a number of aides violated numerous campaign finance laws by coordinating “soft money” fundraising and spending with AFA and AFP. On March 15, 2019, Common Cause filed supplements with the DOJ and FEC to its 2018 complaints, providing further evidence of campaign finance law violations in the form of the Trump campaign's public endorsement of AFA as the campaign's "approved" outside group and solicitation of funds for the group.

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