he Federal Election Commission is officially back. After the Senate confirmed three new FEC commissioners
, the agency now has a full slate of six for the first time since 2017 and a quorum to conduct official business for the first time since August 2019 (other than a few weeks in June
For a functioning FEC, there is an important matter that requires prompt attention — the subject of multiple, bipartisan, and well-documented legal complaints. It is the “Russian collusion” hoax. While many agencies and offices probed the scandal from their own perspectives, the clearest path to accountability for the collusion hoax is, in fact, the FEC.
The hoax began with secret payments by Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign and the Democratic National Committee to foreign agent Christopher Steele and his Russian contacts for the procurement of false, derogatory opposition research on Donald Trump. Steele committed the bogus information to writing and was paid to spread it to Obama administration officials and liberal media elites in order to boost Clinton’s weak election bid. Along the way, Steele was aided by agents of the Ukrainian government and a DNC operative.
All of this meticulously documented activity violates — among other laws — the Federal Election Campaign Act. The Steele controversy was so unprecedented that it triggered numerous legal complaints from both sides of the political aisle (see here or here). Even left-leaning media types, such as then-Politico reporter Kenneth Vogel, caught wind of the scandal’s severity.
These unsubstantiated claims of collusion resulted in the Mueller investigation, a $32 million spectacle that produced not one shred of incriminating evidence. Worst of all, those claims led to the bogus impeachment of President Trump — for no other reason but politics. It was the most baseless, ideologically motivated impeachment process in American history, and it may never be topped.
What started as the “Steele dossier” has led to an unprecedented decline in Americans’ faith in our government, our electoral system, and our very democracy. That mistrust is so severe that it lingers today.
Which brings us back to the FEC. Responsible for enforcing campaign finance laws, the commissioners must hold accountable those who concealed payments to foreign agents and perpetrated a propaganda campaign with one purpose: ending the Trump presidency. While they ultimately failed, the perpetrators successfully interfered in an American election and unquestionably damaged the integrity of American democracy.
Payments from the Clinton campaign and DNC to Steele were laundered through a law firm, Perkins Coie, and publicly reported for the purpose of “legal services.” Clinton campaign and DNC officials later claimed to have no idea their funds were actually being diverted to fund a foreign intelligence campa….