The FEC has failed to file an answer or otherwise valid response to CREW’s complaint within the time allowed by law. CREW filed a motion for default judgment against the FEC in response. The U.S. District Court has granted that motion. Read the order below.

In June 2018, CREW filed a complaint with the FEC alleging that dark money groups backing former Missouri Governor Eric Greitens’s election campaign hatched and executed a conduit contribution scheme in violation of the Federal Election Campaign Act. Now, CREW has sued the Federal Election Commission over its failure to take action on CREW’s complaint in order to enforce the Federal Election Campaign Act.

The complaint alleges that two pairs of super PACs and politically active nonprofits, both with deep ties to the Greitens campaign, used an elaborate conduit contribution scheme to hide the identity of donors supporting Greitens in his 2016 election. Specifically, a super PAC called LG PAC spent $4 million boosting Greitens’ election, all of which came from the nonprofit, Freedom Frontier. Nick Ayers, Greitens’ top campaign adviser who later served as Vice President Pence’s Chief of Staff, disclosed working for both Freedom Frontier and the Greitens campaign. Similarly, another super PAC, SEALs for Truth, donated $1.9 million to Greitens’ campaign and was completely funded by the nonprofit, American Policy Coalition, which has ties to Freedom Frontier.  

Greitens resigned shortly before CREW’s 2018 complaint was filed, facing the possibility of two unrelated criminal charges. Despite clear evidence and documentation of the scheme, including sworn testimony from a former Greitens staffer, the FEC has failed to act in the more than 14 months since CREW filed its complaint. CREW has now sued the FEC to ensure that the groups and individuals involved in the scheme face accountability and transparency as required by campaign finance law.

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