The FEC [Federal Election Commission] hit Jeb Bush’s super PAC with a $390,000 fine for illegally accepting $1.3 million in donations from Chinese-owned corporation American Pacific International Capital (APIC) during the 2016 presidential primary.
Jeb Bush’s brother, Neil Bush sat on the board for APIC.
Jeb Bush founded the PAC in January of 2015, but handed over control of the PAC to Republican consultant Mike Murphy in Spring of 2016.
Campaign Legal Center (CLC), a watchdog group, filed a formal complaint with the FEC in August of 2016 citing a report from The Intercept detailing how Chinese businessmen were illegally funneling money to Jeb Bush’s PAC, Right to Rise USA.
Via The Intercept from August 2016:
The Intercept has determined that a corporation owned by a Chinese couple made a major donation to Jeb Bush’s Super PAC Right to Rise USA — and it did so after receiving detailed advice from Charlie Spies, arguably the most important Republican campaign finance lawyer in American politics.
The Spies memo was dated February 19, 2015. One month later, American Pacific International Capital Inc., a California corporation owned by Gordon Tang and Huaidan Chen, a married couple who are citizens of China and permanent residents of Singapore, made a $1 million donation to Right to Rise USA. APIC subsequently gave the group an additional $300,000, its total donation of $1.3 million making APIC one of the Bush Super PAC’s largest contributors.
The FEC responded to the CLC’s complaint on Friday and hit Jeb Bush’s PAC with a massive $390,000 fine in addition to $550,000 in penalties levied against APIC.
This is one of the largest fines ever handed down by the FEC.
“Today’s action is a rare and remarkable step by the FEC, and a reminder that safeguarding our elections against foreign interference is in America’s vital national security interests,” CLC president Trevor Potter said Monday in a press release. “This illegal $1.3 million contribution is unmistakable proof that Citizens United opened the floodgates to foreign money in the U.S., and it is surely the tip of the iceberg. The fact that the FEC, which so often deadlocks and therefore fails to act in violations, could agree on this one highlights the very real danger this sort of activity poses to our democracy.”
“Foreign actors have a demonstrated interest in influencing elections, and corporations offer an easy way to for them to do so, usually without detection,” said Brendan Fischer, director, federal reform at CLC. “In this case, it took smoking-gun evidence to establish this violation: if the president of the company had not admitted that he directed the contribution, the FEC never would have investigated it.
HUGE: @FEC has levied its biggest fine since Citizens United & 3rd largest in history after investigation found pro-Jeb! Bush super PAC Right to Rise illegally took $1.3 million donation from Chinese-owned corporation—breaking federal law barring foreign interference in elections pic.twitter.com/qujTg9ZI0n
— Anna Massoglia (@annalecta) March 11, 2019
To all the tinfoil hat-wearing Russiagaters, this is what ‘foreign influence’ during a presidential primary/election looks like.
Meanwhile, government goons are hunting down President Trump over a lawful ‘hush payment’ of $130,000 he made to porn star Stormy Daniels during the 2016 election.