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FEC flags McConnell campaign over suspected accounting errors

FEC flags McConnell campaign over suspected accounting errors
© Greg Nash

The Federal Election Commission (FEC) flagged Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellOn The Money: Power players play chess match on COVID-19 aid | Pelosi bullish, Trump tempers optimism | Analysis: Nearly 1M have run out of jobless benefits Trump casts doubt on hopes for quick stimulus deal after aides expressed optimism Power players play chess match on COVID-19 aid MORE’s (R-Ky.) campaign over suspected accounting errors and is asking the campaign to respond to issues the commission flagged by late October. 

The FEC sent McConnell’s re-election campaign a letter dated Monday requesting information about the campaign’s report that appeared to go against FEC rules after a preliminary review. The letter is signed by campaign finance analyst Susan Worthington. 

The FEC wrote that McConnell’s report discloses “one or more contributions” that appear to exceed the allowable limits to a candidate. 

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The FEC also wrote that McConnell’s report discloses one or more contributions that were received after the 2020 primary election that are designated for the 2020 primary. 

The FEC also told the campaign its report discloses one or more contributions that appear to be from a limited liability corporation. The FEC asked the campaign to amend its report to clarify if the corporations in question are treated as partnerships, adding that if they are not the campaign must refund the contributions.

The letter notes that the campaign will not receive “an additional notice” from the FEC, and “adequate responses” to the matters listed must be received on or before Oct. 26. Failure to respond by the date could result in an audit or enforcement action, according to the FEC. 

The letter was first reported by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

A spokesperson for McConnell’s campaign said it has received the FEC’s letter and is reviewing its contents to prepare an appropriate response. 

The campaign also highlighted two FEC complaints filed against McConnell’s challenger, Democrat Amy McGrath, including one filed at the end of August that requested a response from McGrath’s campaign by Oct. 5. 

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The FEC wrote that the McGrath campaign’s report notes the “redesignation or reattribution of several contributions,” and asks the campaign to amend the report to disclose the “proper format for redesignations or reattributions.” 

The earlier FEC letter to the McGrath campaign, from December 2019, noted the campaign’s report disclosed one or more contributions that appeared to exceed the allowable limits. 

McConnell, running for his seventh term where he’s been the GOP leader since 2007, is leading McGrath, according to a recent poll

He’s facing even more scrutiny from Democrats in recent days over his push to vote on President TrumpDonald John TrumpJudge rules to not release Russia probe documents over Trump tweets Trump and advisers considering firing FBI director after election: WaPo Obama to campaign for Biden in Florida MORE’s nominee to replace the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader GinsburgRuth Bader GinsburgDemocrats to boycott committee vote on Amy Coney Barrett's Supreme Court nomination Mitt Romney did not vote for Trump in 2020 election The Senate should evoke RBG in its confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett MORE by the end of the year. 

Last week McConnell announced his intent to vote on Trump’s nominee to succeed Ginsburg just hours after Ginsburg’s death was announced. Democrats have accused McConnell, and other Senate Republicans, of hypocrisy after they blocked then-President Obama’s nominee to replace the late conservative Justice Antonin Scalia who died about 10 months ahead of the election.

Senate Republicans have dismissed accusations of hypocrisy, arguing that the situations are different because the party in control of the Senate also holds the White House right now.