The college organization Students for Trump (SFT) hasn’t disclosed who its donors are since July 2016, despite being legally required to do so.
A Daily Beast report explained that SFT coordinated with the Trump campaign during the 2016 election to get out the vote for millennials and run a social media advocacy campaign. Despite questions about troll farms and Russia paying for a robust social media campaign, the political action committee hasn’t been questioned by the Federal Elections Commission as to who their donors were.
The FEC has sent a series of nine letters since it was formed in July 2016 asking for the legally required disclosure reports. Yet, they’ve received no reports. The group blamed their former treasurer for the lack of a filing.
“As you will see, all records are under John Lambert, who is no longer with SFT and hasn’t been with us for some time,” spokesperson Mia Chamberlain said in an email to The Beast. “An FEC filing was officially filed. However, due to certain changes in the past, a request was sent in to nullify the filings.”
She went on to say that that founder and chair Ryan Fournier “is unsure as to why it did not go through as he was not the agent who prepared and sent in the documentation.”
It’s unclear how the treasurer being gone explains why no report has been filed for 19 months.
“Sounds like they don’t know what they are doing,” said Brendan Fischer of the Campaign Legal Center.
One of the avid supporters and former national director of the group was Italian real estate developer Guido Lombardi, who worked as a go-between for the Trump campaign and right-wing leaders and parties in Europe.
In a Newsweek interview, Fournier claimed Students for Trump had more than 5,000 student members belonging to their hundreds of chapters in approximately 40 states. Yet, the political group isn’t classified as a non-partisan non-profit organization. Since the election, however, the organization has been mostly inactive. Though as a legally active PAC it’s required to abide by the law.
“The failure to timely file a complete report may result in civil money penalties, an audit or legal enforcement action,” FEC letters warn.
If the PAC filed its disclosure, the public would be aware of the donors of the group and how it’s money was spent and where.