While shrill accusations of racism and anti-Semitism were likely to flame out a some point, a paper trail of illegal behind-the-scenes payments to President-Elect Donald Trump’s lead strategist, Steve Bannon could easily prove fatal to his appointment. Writes Betsy Woodruff in the DailyBeast:
A campaign watchdog group filed a complaint with federal election officials that alleges Stephen Bannon—recently named one of Donald Trump’s top White House advisers—may have gotten paid illegally during Trump’s campaign by pro-Trump billionaires.
And now, a new set of Federal Election Commission filings that haven’t yet been reported on may give the group’s case some additional heft.
At issue are payments of nearly $200,000 that a super PAC called Make America Number 1 made to a company tied to Bannon. On Aug. 17, Bannon left his post as chairman of Breitbart News and became the Trump campaign’s CEO. Available FEC filings show the campaign didn’t pay Bannon a salary. Larry Noble, General Counsel for the Campaign Legal Center, said he believes the super PAC covertly paid Bannon for his campaign work through his moviemaking company. Neither the super PAC nor Bannon provided a response to Noble’s comment.
Sounds like a major no-no, right?
While the Beast leans left, Woodruff is a respected political reporter, but her main source is a leftward leaning policy advocate. Among The Campaign Legal Center’s financiers is George Soros’ Open Society Foundation. Moreover, the CLC focuses its energy on GOP entities, most recently publishing a post on “dark money” regarding a relationship between Karl Rove and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.