On Saturday, The Daily Beast and The Trace reported on evidence of a potentially illegal campaign arrangement between President Donald Trump’s campaign and the NRA.
“The NRA and the Trump campaign placed … ads through two companies that appear separate on paper, but reporting by The Trace indicates they are affiliates of National Media Research, Planning and Placement, an influential conservative firm in Alexandria, Virginia,” wrote Kevin Dugan. “We identified four National Media employees whose names or signatures also appear on recent documents related to the shell companies. In fact, the three firms are so closely linked that they share a phone number. Earlier reporting by The Trace showed that National Media was at the center of a similar ad-buying strategy in 2016.”
As one example of how this scheme worked, Dugan explored a recent NRA ad depicting a woman fighting off carjackers with a gun, that implied Biden would have let her be murdered.
“The ominous 30-second spot, called ‘Carjack,’ aired more than 10,000 times in swing districts across Michigan, Pennsylvania, Arizona, North Carolina, and Wisconsin during a two-week period in late August and early September. The NRA paid more than $4.1 million for the ad to run during shows like Jimmy Kimmel Live! and The View,” wrote Dugan. “During that time, re-election ads for President Donald Trump that had been playing as early as May effectively stopped. In some cases, the president’s ads—which became less frequent on all national airwaves during this period—started up again days after the NRA’s ad buy ended.”
“Former high-ranking Federal Election Commission (FEC) members and government watchdogs told The Trace that the overlapping personnel, and the ads’ seemingly choreographed timing, suggest an arrangement that violates campaign-finance laws,” wrote Dugan. “The FEC, which oversees political advertising, bars candidates’ campaigns from working in concert with independent groups—such as, in this case, the NRA. If these campaigns did in fact coordinate, millions of dollars in spending could count as in-kind contributions to the Trump campaign, and the firms could face civil fines and a possible criminal referral to the Justice Department.”
This is not the only accusation of illegal campaign finance schemes from the NRA — a recent FEC lawsuit alleged that the NRA made an in-kind contribution to President Donald Trump’s campaign of nearly 10,000 times the legal limit.
All of this comes as New York Attorney General Letitia James is suing to dissolve the NRA, alleging a years-long fraud scheme in which its executives skimmed money from the organization’s nonprofit mission for their own personal use.
Trump loses another election court challenge
The US state of Pennsylvania's supreme court dismissed another legal challenge to the election by supporters of President Donald Trump on Saturday, further reducing his already near-impossible odds of overturning the results.
A Republican lawsuit had sought to invalidate mail-in ballots in the battleground state that President-elect Joe Biden won by about 81,000 votes -- or to throw out all votes and allow the state's legislature to decide the winner.
The court dismissed both claims in a unanimous decision, calling the second one an "extraordinary proposition that the court disenfranchise all 6.9 million Pennsylvanians who voted in the general election."
Melania Trump’s memoir plans set off an avalanche of brutal title suggestions
News from Page Six that first lady Melania Trump is planning on writing a memoir about her time in the White House set off an all too predictable flood of title suggestions on social media that were equal parts brutal and hilarious.
According to Page Six, the first lady is planning to write the book and that the income from it will solely be hers allowing her to cash in the past four years like the rest of the Trump family.