Trump-backed GOP Senate candidate under scrutiny for misuse of charity money: report
Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt and President Donald Trump (Facebook)

The leading Republican in one most-watched U.S. Senate races of the 2022 midterm elections was accused of violating federal law.

"When Republican Senate hopeful Adam Laxalt was Nevada’s attorney general, he was responsible for enforcing the law. Now, a watchdog alleges that his nonprofit violated federal regulations governing charities, and is asking the IRS to revoke the group’s tax status," The Daily Beast reports. "On Tuesday, End Citizens United filed a complaint against Laxalt’s 'dark money' group Americans for Public Trust (APT), alleging that the organization broke the rules after running hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of—in the complaint’s words—“unsupported and misleading” political attack ads."

APT is organized as a "social welfare" charity under 5019(c)3 organization.

"The IRS limits 501(c)3 activity to “religious, charitable, scientific, testing for public safety, literary, or educational purposes,” and stipulates that if groups stray beyond those lines, they risk losing their tax-exempt status," The Beast reported. "APT—whose executive director, Caitlin Sutherland, is former research director for the National Republican Congressional Committee—received its tax-exempt status in May 2020, as 'exclusively for charitable and educational purposes.'"

Since its founding, the group has spent about $1.8 million on ads.

Nonprofit law expert Ciara Torres-Spelliscy of the Brennan Center said, "If the allegations are accurate, this looks like something beyond the power of a 501(c)3.”

Read the full report.