Donald Trump hasn't even announced that he's running for president but may have already broken campaign finance laws.
The twice-impeached former president teased a 2024 campaign announcement in a lengthy interview with New York Magazine's Olivia Nuzzi, saying he'd already decided whether to run for a second term, and election expert Chris Truax, writing for The Bulwark, said that decision may have violated the Federal Election Campaign Act.
"Once you decide to run for president (or any federal office) and raise or spend at least $5,000, you are required to file a statement of organization with the FEC," Truax wrote. "You can mess around on the margins and do some 'testing the waters' without registering, but the minute you become a candidate, you have ten days to formally register your campaign committee."
Federal candidates must register their campaign committees with the FEC and disclose campaign contributions and expenditures, and the law defines a candidate as someone who has raised or spent at least $5,000 and has decided to run for federal office -- whether or not they have publicly announced their intention.
"So Trump has already decided whether or not he is a candidate," Truax wrote. "Which means that if he has decided to run, then he is required to file with the FEC within ten days of having made up his mind and he cannot legally spend or raise more than $5,000 on any campaign functions until he does."
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