Finance

New report: Mark Meadows apparently under investigation for campaign finance violations

In case you missed it, be sure to check out writer Roger Sollenberger’s article at the website Salon about former North Carolina congressman and Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows, entitled “New filing suggests Mark Meadows under investigation for campaign finance violations – Former Trump chief in jeopardy: Watchdog group filed complaint against Meadows in October, based on Salon’s report.”

As Sollenberger explains:

A year-end federal filing from former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows shows legal expenses that experts say indicate it is “highly likely” the North Carolina Republican is under scrutiny for campaign finance violations.

In October, the nonprofit government watchdog Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) requesting an investigation into Meadows, based on a Salon report that detailed a series of apparent violations of the prohibition on using campaign funds for personal expenses. Those payments covered gourmet cupcakes, grocery store purchases, a cell phone bill, posh meals and lodging at Donald Trump’s Washington hotel, according to filings with the FEC. Meadows’ campaign also spent thousands of dollars on “printed materials” at an upscale Washington-area custom jeweler on the day he left Congress for the White House. (The jewelry retailer has said it sells nothing that could be categorized that way.)

The article, which includes more details about the questionable ways in which the money was spent, goes on to quote election law experts as drawing parallels between Meadows’ situation and that of former Congressman Duncan Hunter, who was sentenced to prison for misuse of funds before obtaining a pardon from President Trump:

Similar charges have landed other politicians in prison. Former Rep. Duncan Hunter, a California Republican, was sentenced for using his campaign account for personal expenses, including at hotels and restaurants — including one of the venues Meadows routinely expensed, the Capitol Hill Club, a favored hangout of House Republicans that is just around the corner from Republican National Committee headquarters. Meadows made a $1,100 purchase there on Jan. 13, 2020, the same day Hunter resigned from the House for his numerous campaign finance violations.

(Hunter’s campaign spent more than $100,000 at the Capitol Hill Club, stretching back to 2008. The Meadows campaign expensed about half that amount at the club across 109 expenditures beginning in 2012, though most of that spending — more than $37,000 — came in the four years after Trump’s election.)

The article also raises the possibility that Meadows could also be under investigation for “his role in a now-infamous phone call during which Trump pressured Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to ‘find’ votes for him, an apparent solicitation of election fraud.”

Last week, Meadows landed a new job at a conservative think tank run by former South Carolina Republican senator Jim DeMint known as the Conservative Partnership Institute.