Critics call for FEC investigation of Rupert Murdoch leak of Biden ads to Jared Kushner
Jared Kushner (AFP)

A progressive PAC that advocates for campaign reform has filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission arguing that Fox Corporation head Rupert Murdoch broke the law when he shared Joe Biden's campaign ads scheduled to air on Fox with Donald Trump's son-in-law and then White House adviser Jared Kushner, the group said Friday.

Murdoch's alleged hand-off of the confidential information to Kushner was revealed this week as part of the $1.6 billion Dominion Voting Systems defamation case against Fox News and the Fox Corp. According to the latest filing in the case citing Murdoch's sworn deposition, the Fox boss admitted that he provided a preview of the ads to Kushner before they became public. He also allegedly said he shared Biden's debate strategy during the 2020 campaign with Kushner.

The source of the debate strategy information — possibly from reporting not yet publicly revealed or somehow indicated in the ads — wasn't immediately clear.

Tiffany Muller, president of the End Citizens United PAC, called on the FEC to "immediately investigate," according to a copy of the complaint provided to NBC News. “Fox Corporation’s blatant and cavalier act is a prohibited corporate contribution," she added.

According to the PAC, the maximum penalty for such a "prohibited corporate contribution" is five years in prison and fines of 200% of the value of the contribution.

FEC investigations, however, are often notoriously slow, with some of the more complicated cases lasting years.

The six-member, bipartisan civil regulatory and enforcement body cannot bring criminal charges and often deadlocks on high-profile civil matters before it. Four votes are generally needed to advance an investigation and penalize a political committee or actor, meaning the commission's Democrats and Republicans must find common ground to do so.

The End Citizens United PAC complaint also argues that the Trump campaign broke the law by not disclosing the contribution.

Craig Holman, a government affairs lobbyist at campaign watchdog Public Citizen, explained to Business Insider Friday that non-monetary goods or services, including "non-public opposition research, provided to a candidate free of charge or at a discount for campaign purposes, is defined under the campaign finance law as an in-kind contribution, subject to the reporting requirements and contribution limits."

If the allegations are true in the Dominion filing, "this is precisely what Murdoch provided to the Trump campaign," he said.

Neither Fox nor the Trump campaign could be immediately reached for comment by Raw Story.