NEW: newly-published internal Cambridge Analytica documents from 2016 show how the data firm operated as a tool for a billionaire family to unlawfully influence U.S. politics and help elect Trump.

We've filed a supplemental complaint with the FEC.
apnews.com/article/electi…
What’s often overlooked is how Cambridge Analytica operated to unlawfully deepen the impact of its billionare owners’ political spending.

The new docs show that Cambridge Analytica facilitated illegal coordination between a Mercer-backed super PAC & the Trump campaign.
The materials show that Cambridge Analytica staff understood that the Mercers called the shots.

For example, an email from Alexander Nix showed that the Mercers installed Kellyanne Conway as the head of a Mercer super PAC, and that the PAC was expected to contract with CA.
The Trump campaign later hired Kellyanne Conway at the behest of the Mercers. Today, Conway says that those who headed Cambridge Analytica were “crooks and thieves and liars.” apnews.com/article/electi…
Robert Mercer poured millions into a pro-Trump super PAC in the final stretch of the 2016 cycle. Both it and the Trump campaign then contracted with Cambridge Analytica—which created the conditions for illegal coordination. The new docs show any firewall was a façade.
The docs also provide a rare look into the ads created by Cambridge Analytica—which until this point have been largely unavailable—and indicate a striking consistency between the Trump campaign's ads and those created by Cambridge Analytica for the Mercers’ pro-Trump super PAC.
The docs also provide new insight into Steve Bannon's overlapping roles. Bannon was a CA board member who was involved in its operations (as this email shows).

The Mercers urged Trump to hire Bannon, but he kept an ownership stake in CA even after becoming Trump’s campaign CEO.
During the same period that Bannon was Trump campaign CEO, Cambridge Analytica (which he part-owned) sub-contracted with Bannon’s production company “Glittering Steel” to produce ads for the pro-Trump super PAC, which by law was supposed to be independent of Trump's campaign.
In other words, the Mercers’ pro-Trump super PAC contracted with one company owned by Trump’s campaign CEO, which contracted with another company owned by the campaign CEO, to produce ads supporting Trump. The super PAC's ads are hardly “independent” of the Trump campaign.
The docs also provide new insight into CA’s work for the Trump campaign and the Mercers' pro-Trump super PAC.

For example, it has not been reported that CA poured big money into Michigan on behalf of the Mercers’ super PAC in the final 72 hours of the 2016 election.
According to Cambridge Analytica’s post-election report, “If [the Mercers’ super PAC] had not made the final GOTV investment in the state, we can reasonably argue Trump would not have achieved his historic victory in Michigan.” archive.org/details/ca-doc…
campaignlegal.org/update/newly-p…

See our complaint here: campaignlegal.org/sites/default/…

The 757 pages of Cambridge Analytica docs here: archive.org/details/ca-doc…

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More from @brendan_fischer

17 Oct
Here’s Matt Oczkowski on a $3.5M+ Cambridge Analytica project for the US gun industry’s trade ass’n.

Gunmakers & sellers were to turn over data on millions of gun owners to CA.

“I can’t emphasize how big of a deal this is for us,” wrote Oczkowski (who now works for Trump 2020). Image
Oczkowski puts “voter education” in quotes, and describes the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) project as an obvious effort to help elect candidates while avoiding the tax and campaign finance implications of express electoral advocacy. Image
Gun owners might be surprised to learn that gun makers & sellers are using the personal info that they share on warranty cards to target them with thinly-veiled electoral messages. And that their personal data is being shared with firms like Cambridge Analytica. Image
Read 5 tweets
14 Oct
The Trump campaign wants Omarosa to fund an $846K pro-Trump ad campaign as a “corrective” for her critiques of the president.

As I told @maggieNYT, if Omarosa were to give in to this demand, then both she and the Trump campaign would violate federal law. nytimes.com/2020/10/13/us/…
A person makes a “coordinated communication” by funding pre-election ads about a candidate at the request of the candidate’s campaign.

These rules apply even if the ads don't expressly advocate for the candidate’s election. fec.gov/help-candidate…
More specifically, a “coordinated communication” is made if a person other than the campaign (1) pays for communications (2) at the request or suggestion of the campaign, that (3) refer to a presidential candidate and are run within 120 days of an election. Image
Read 5 tweets
9 Oct
Incredible new @NYTimes story that raises questions about whether Trump secretly financed his 2016 campaign with an undisclosed bank loan, backed by a billionaire developer, with taxpayers unwittingly helping to foot the bill. nytimes.com/interactive/20…
In the final stretch of the 2016 election, Trump quietly took out a $30M loan in the name of an LLC he co-owned with Phil Ruffin.

The LLC paid Trump over $21M and deducted those payments on its taxes.

Six weeks after obtaining the loan, Trump gave $10M to his campaign.
Bank loans obtained to finance a campaign must be disclosed on FEC reports. Trump's campaign never disclosed the $30M loan, nor did it disclose that Trump’s jointly-owned Vegas property was used as collateral (which itself could raise other legal issues). fec.gov/help-candidate…
Read 6 tweets
18 Sep
NEW: Louis DeJoy's employees & family members continued giving big money in clusters through at least 2018--including $50K to Trump--suggesting additional straw donor violations well within the statute of limitations.

We’ve filed an FEC complaint. campaignlegal.org/sites/default/…
Last week, the Post reported that employees at DeJoy's old company, New Breed, were reimbursed for their political contributions through 2014.

The pattern of giving continued after New Breed was acquired by XPO in 2014, during the period that DeJoy was CEO and board member.
We found several instances where employees at DeJoy’s company (as well as DeJoy family members) gave to the same candidate, during the same period, and in similar amounts.

This included over $50K to Trump Victory, President Trump’s joint fundraising committee.
Read 7 tweets
28 Aug
For millions of federal workers across the country, the Hatch Act is not optional. Workers are fired or suspended when they use public resources for political purposes.

But Trump decided that his top allies can ignore the laws that apply to everyone else.
nytimes.com/2020/08/26/us/…
Earlier this year, a federal employee in Washington State gave a Democratic Congressional candidate a tour of a waste treatment plant.

Because the tour could benefit the candidate, the worker lost her job and was barred from fed work for 3 years.
osc.gov/News/Pages/20-…
In April, a doctor at the VA was barred from federal work for 5 years for Hatch Act violations. He was running for Senate and used the VA logo in campaign materials. fedsmith.com/2020/04/30/max…
Read 4 tweets
28 Jul
NEW: We filed an FEC complaint alleging that the Trump campaign violated the law by laundering nearly $170M in spending through conduits controlled by Brad Parscale and other senior Trump officials, hiding the ultimate recipients of the money from voters. campaignlegal.org/sites/default/…
The scheme works like this. The campaign reports millions in payments to Parscale's firms--AMMC and Parscale Strategy--and those firms then pass-on the money to the campaign’s ultimate vendors.

But only AMMC and Parscale Strategy show up on FEC reports.
That's illegal, because campaigns are supposed to report the recipients of their spending. And it has the effect of hiding millions paid to companies doing major work for the campaign, as well as payments to Trump family members or associates.
Read 7 tweets

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