A nonprofit watchdog on Monday accused British data firm Cambridge Analytica of violating U.S. election laws.

Common Cause said in complaints filed with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) that the data firm violated laws forbidding foreign actors from taking part in the decisionmaking process in U.S. political campaigns. 

All of the individuals listed in the complaints who were involved in the Cambridge Analytica operations are not U.S. citizens. 


The group cited a memo from lawyer Laurence Levy to GOP mega-donor Rebecca Mercer and Cambridge Analytica founder Alexander Nix, warning that foreign nationals “may not play strategic roles" in U.S. elections.

Nix is not a U.S. national.

The Campaign Legal Center has accused the data firm of being a go-between for the Trump campaign and a Mercer-funded Trump super PAC. 

Common Cause also called on the FEC and DOJ to probe any potential violations of law and recommended punishment in the case of any wrongdoing. 

“It defies belief that even after their own attorney warned them that they would be violating the prohibition on performing certain election-related activities in U.S. elections that they did so anyway,” Common Cause Vice President for Policy and Litigation Paul S. Ryan wrote in the complaints. 

“A full investigation must be conducted, and if Cambridge Analytica and its staff did in fact repeatedly violate our laws, then there must be punishment levied sufficient to deter similar lawbreaking in future," he continued. 

ABC News was the first to report on the complaints. 

Social media giant Facebook revealed earlier this month that Cambridge Analytica harvested the personal information of 50 million Facebook users without their permission. 

ABC News reported last week that special counsel Robert Mueller’s team is looking into the relationship between Trump’s campaign and the data research firm.