FEC Rejects Complaint Against Hillary Clinton’s 2016 Presidential Campaign
The Federal Election Commission has dismissed a complaint alleging that Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign broke the law by soliciting favorable media coverage.
In a 6-0 vote, the commission tossed the complaint that relied primarily on WikiLeaks emails from Guccifer 2.0.
“Several prominent reporters and media personalities were mentioned in the complaint, including Maggie Haberman of The New York Times, John Harwood of CNN (formerly of CNBC, where he was during the 2016 campaign), as well as outlets such as The Boston Globe, Politico, NBC, and Univision,” Business Insider reported.
“Haberman, a Pulitzer Prize winner who revealed some of the Trump administration’s most embarrassing and politically costly scandals through her reporting, was mentioned in a Clinton campaign email obtained by The Intercept in October 2016 during the WikiLeaks saga,” the Business Insider report added.
Although former Intercept editor Glenn Greenwald wrote that “Haberman’s stories were more sophisticated, nuanced, and even somewhat more critical than what the Clinton memo envisioned,” the complaint from Tony Dane of Virginia used the article to support broader accusations of illegal donations.
Tony Dane of Virginia, who filed the complaint on his own behalf prior to the 2016 presidential election, alleged that the Clinton campaign was breaking campaign finance laws by using favorable media coverage as an unpaid or “in-kind” donation.
Dane also included emails from WikiLeaks in his complaint, which showed Clinton campaign staff planning off the record parties for media personalities.
Clinton is also engulfed in Special Counsel John Durham’s investigation.
U.S. District Judge Christopher Cooper ruled that GPS Fusion, the research firm Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign hired to dig up dirt on Donald Trump’s alleged ties to Russia, must turn over nearly two dozen emails to Durham’s team.
“Those emails – which are largely exchanges between Clinton campaign lawyer Michael Sussman and Fusion GPS – are part of a batch that prosecutors subpoenaed last year. U.S. District Judge Christopher Cooper blocked prosecutors from getting 16 of those emails but allowed Durham to obtain 22,” Fox News reported.
“Cooper ruled that the 16 emails in question were protected by attorney-client privilege and attorney-work-product while the remaining 22 were not. Still, the judge ruled that those emails will not be admissible in the impending trial of Sussman – who is charged with lying to the FBI during a September 2016 meeting – because of the untimeliness of Durham’s request,” the report added.
Durham has indicted a prominent lawyer who worked for the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign.
Michael Sussmann was indicted for allegedly lying to FBI lawyer James Baker during a 2016 meeting about who he was representing when he gave information about Donald Trump and Russia to the bureau.
Sussmann’s legal team has been fighting Durham over his efforts to secure a number of documents from Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign they have claimed are protected by the attorney-client privilege.
Durham has been arguing that the campaign could not hide materials based on that claim because the materials being hidden have already been widely distributed to third parties.
And this week, a federal judge in Washington, D.C., sided with Durham and has ordered the former campaign to produce the documents requested by the special counsel.