AFL Lawsuit Alleges Bragg and Biden for President Violated FEC Rules

  • by:
  • Source: UncoverDC
  • 06/13/2024

America First Legal (AFL) claims New York District Attorney Alvin Bragg and Biden for President may have violated the Federal Election Campaign Act with their alleged illegally coordinated and politically motivated prosecution against Trump. To get to the bottom of those claims, AFL filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) against Bragg and Biden for President on Wednesday.

The complaint alleges coordinated campaign contributions showing Bragg donated more than $3,300, "an excessive contribution in the form of a coordinated expenditure in violation of 52 U.S.C. § 30116(a)(1)(A)." The complaint also claims that Biden for President "knowingly accepted" funds violating 52 U.S.C § 30116(f). In addition, according to the complaint, Biden for President failed to provide the "required disclosure information," violating 52 U.S.C. § 30104(b) and 11 C.F.R. § 104.3(a)–(b). In essence, the lawsuit seeks to connect the dots between Bragg's prosecution of Trump and the idea that Bragg acted "in cooperation, consultation, or concert with, or at the request of Biden for the principal purpose of influencing the 2024 presidential election," financially and politically.

The complaint continues:

"Because the available information supports a conclusion that Bragg's prosecution of Trump was coordinated with Biden and made for the purpose of influencing the 2024 presidential election, it is a "coordinated expenditure" under the Act resulting in an in-kind contribution by Bragg to Biden for President. Under the Act and Commission regulations, therefore Bragg made and the Biden for President knowingly accepted, a contribution of in excess of the $3,300 per-election individual contribution limit." 

AFL maintains that Bragg benefited materially from political and financial support by litigating the case during the presidential campaign. The Biden administration allegedly took contributions from influential individuals who would be given key roles at the DOJ. Bragg received numerous donations from wealthy individuals and groups associated with George Soros. Bragg also received contributions from Chiraag Bains, "who would later become a Deputy Assistant to the President in the Biden White House." According to the complaint, Adam Hickey also donated to Bragg—Hickey would later serve as a "senior official in Biden's Department of Justice." Months after Bragg announced the felony indictment of Trump in April 2023, the Biden Victory Fund, according to the lawsuit, allegedly received $250,000 from George Soros in September 2023, another $350,000 in November 2023, and a third contribution of $303,000 on December 21, 2023. 

AFL Seeks Records With Potential to Prove Unethical and Illegal Conduct at DOJ Against Trump

In addition to this complaint, AFL has concurrently launched three investigations into Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg's "abusive prosecution of President Trump." AFL seeks to obtain records associated with Bragg's alleged communication with "outside groups like the DNC, the Biden for President campaign, George Soro's Open Society Foundation, and any communications with Judge Merchan," per recent email communications from Stephen Miller, President of AFL.

AFL believes Bragg and the DOJ exhibited unethical and illegal conduct in the prosecution of former President Trump. The alleged activities include lawfare against candidate Trump and may constitute "election interference" and "public corruption" in the run-up to November's Presidential election.

According to the complaint, "Biden and his allies" are aggressively engaged in influencing the 2024 election, using lawfare to "physically remove" candidate Trump from the campaign trail. The complaint asserts Biden, his DOJ, and outside interests are allegedly using "lawfare to drain his resources, harm his reputation, and potentially disqualify him from the ballot."

AFL's claims are not without merit—for much of his presidential campaign, Trump has been tied up in court or under a gag order by Judge Merchan. In addition, several states have unsuccessfully attempted to remove Trump from the ballot. President Biden also stated during a 2022 press conference that he would make sure Trump "does not become the next President again."

Hush Money Case Against Trump "Not Supported by Probable Cause"

The "hush money" case against Trump in New York is the focus of the complaint. AFL believes Bragg resurrected the case, even though it was "sent back" by Bragg's predecessor, who said the "felony charges would not hold up in court." The fact that Bragg's predecessor declined to prosecute the hush money case makes it look like Bragg is pursuing politically expedient cases, not cases that "need to be prosecuted," according to the complaint. AFL alleges Bragg is violating New York Rule of Professional Conduct 3.8 whereby a prosecutor "shall not institute, cause to be instituted or maintain a criminal charge when the prosecutor or other government lawyer" knows the charge is "not supported by probable cause. The complaint asserts the case has the effect of "increasing condemnation of the accused." Trump's legal troubles, valid or not, become front and center, with the potential to negatively sway public opinion in the critical months leading up to the Presidential election. 

Bragg's Hire of Colangelo Questioned by Judiciary

The complaint shows that in December 2022, Bragg hired Matthew Colangelo to join Bragg's investigation of President Trump. Colangelo was Acting Associate Attorney General, number three in Biden's DOJ. Bragg hired Colangelo from the DOJ to "jump-start" the hush money case in NY. Records show Colangelo "contributed to Bragg's campaign for District Attorney three separate times." Colangelo's hire was, by all accounts, an unusual career move.

There has been very little transparency behind why Colangelo was pulled from Justice to orchestrate the litigation against Trump. Attorney General Merrick Garland "refused during a congressional hearing to turn over communications between his Department and Bragg's Office." 

Since Garland's testimony, the DOJ has seemingly made efforts to neutralize the idea that the DOJ and Bragg's office were working together in a "politicized prosecution of Trump," according to Republicans on the Judiciary Committee. On April 30, 2024, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, sent a letter alleging "politically motivated prosecutions." Jordan requested "all documents and communications for the period of January 2021 to December 2022" between Colangelo and "any employee, agent, or representative of the New York County District Attorney's Office, the Fulton County District Attorney's Office, the New York Attorney General's Office, or the Department of Justice's Special Counsel's Office" regarding President Trump and the Trump Organization and entities associated with Trump. The letter also asked for personnel files and all documents and communications. Jordan's letter mentions many of the claims against Bragg and Colangelo cited in AFL's complaint, including the "relitigation of an issue on which the federal government previously declined prosecution." 

In his response to Jordan's letter, Assistant Attorney General Uriarte asserted that the Department conducted a "comprehensive search for email communications" from Colangelo during the requested period and found nothing. Uriarte's letter, obtained by Politico, stated the lack of communication between Colangelo and the DA's office was "unsurprising." Uriarte stated the "District Attorney's office is a separate entity from the Department" and, therefore, has "no control" over the DA's office or the DA.

AFL contends there is enough circumstantial evidence to claim that funds raised tangentially to Trump's lawsuit were contributions that allegedly served to remove "a potential opponent from the ballot." The contributions associated with the lawfare "were as much an effort to influence an election as is a campaign advertisement derogating that opponent," cited in the complaint as Advisory Opinion 1980-57.

Biden for President also allegedly violated its disclosure obligations "when it failed to provide information in connection with the Bragg prosecution as a 'coordinated expenditure.'" The disclosure must include "the date, amount, and purpose of an in-kind contribution." According to the complaint, no such disclosure was provided. 

Get the latest news delivered daily!

We will send you breaking news right to your inbox

© 2024 UncoverDC