These federal campaign laws did not stop over one thousand Democrat donors from contributing nearly $400,000 each to Hillary Rodham Clinton during the 2016 election. Big name donors including Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, filmmaker Steven Spielberg, and designer Calvin Klein are implicated in a money laundering scheme that deceptively funneled more than $84 million to the Hillary Clinton campaign.
A formal complaint was filed with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) in December 2017. It is based on data readily available to the public and draws from FEC reports filed by Democrats, memos authored by Clinton’s campaign manager, and public statements from DNC chairwoman Donna Brazile and other Democrat state and national party officials.
The money laundering scheme was carried out covertly by the cunning operatives who ran the Hillary Victory Fund (HVF). This group found a way to subvert the law by dubbing itself a “joint fundraising committee” that supported the DNC and 32 state party committees. Under this guise, the HVF coordinated extravagant fundraisers that solicited up to $356,100 each from wealthy donors.
Under the HVF, wealthy Democrat donors contributed over 130 times the legal contribution limit allowed by federal law. These staunch Clinton supporters were able to make larger donations to the HVF because the funds were supposedly raised to support multiple Democratic candidates across the board. However, most of the money collected by the HVF through these networks was quickly sent to the Hillary Clinton campaign. The HVF allowed the wealthiest democratic donors a way to maximize their permissible contribution through this money laundering scheme.
After the money was transferred back and forth between different committees, it eventually found its way back to its intended target: the Clinton campaign. Dan Backer, the attorney who filed the complaint and lawsuit, says the HVF essentially laundered funds. During her fundraising campaign, Hillary Clinton said she was raising money to help state committees, but at the end of the day, the committees only kept roughly one percent of the money. The Hillary Clinton campaign walked away with nearly all the money in the end and still failed to secure the presidential nomination.
The question now is whether the people involved, including Vera Wang, Seth MacFarlane, and others willfully conspired in the money laundering scheme. Did these staunch Clinton supporters have any interest in supporting Democratic committees in places like Alaska or were they actively participating in a scheme to illegally fund the Clinton campaign? Democratic state party officials were aware that the Clinton campaign was controlling the movement of these funds, but nothing was done to stop the Clinton campaign from securing the funds in the end.
This scheme took money away from other Democratic competitors, notably the Bernie Sanders campaign which eventually accused the Clinton campaign of “looting funds.” DNC chairwoman Donna Brazile wrote about the corruption in the 2017 book “Hacks.” Brazile reveals that wealthy donors gave $353,400 to the HVF so that $10,000 could be delegated to each of the thirty-two state parties and $33,400 to the DNC. After the money was deposited in the state accounts, it was transferred to the DNC and then funneled to the Clinton campaign headquarters.
Many of the celebrities that participated in the scheme could face civil and criminal charges, including five years imprisonment, if the Justice Department can prove that they “knowingly and willfully” participated in the scheme.