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Wisconsin Ethics Committee Recommends Felony Charges Against Trump-Linked PAC, Racine County D.A Responds (pictured)

Wisconsin Ethics Committee Recommends Felony Charges Against Trump-Linked PAC, Racine County D.A Responds (pictured)

Source: Racine County District Attorney Patricia Hanson

February 23, 2024 12:54 PM CDT
By: Stuart J. Wattles

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Racine, Wis (Civic Media) – A bipartisan ethics committee in Wisconsin has recommended felony charges against a political action committee associated with former President Trump and Republicans in the state. The Racine County District Attorney put out a statement this morning saying she will review the accusations and make a decision.  

The State Ethics Commission alleges that Donald Trump’s joint fundraising committee and GOP state Rep. Janel Brandtjen collaborated to circumvent campaign finance limits, channeling over $40,000 towards the 2022 primary challenge of Speaker Robin Vos.

The commission has advised local district attorneys to investigate and pursue charges against them, along with Adam Steen’s campaign and various individuals and county Republican parties allegedly involved in the situation. The referrals implicate Steen, Brandtjen, the Save America Joint Fundraising Committee, and others in alleged felonious activities.

The recommendations for legal action could present challenges for Trump. The Save America Joint Fundraising Committee, crucial to Trump’s 2024 campaign fundraising, was found to have breached Wisconsin’s campaign finance laws. The participants are said to have taken advantage of Wisconsin statutes permitting unrestricted transfers from political parties to candidates.

The investigation uncovered a scheme involving Steen, county parties, and others directing donations exceeding individual limits to the Langlade County GOP with a specific memo line reference. This indicated that the party should utilize or forward the funds for in-kind donations benefiting Steen. Contributions totaling over $40,000 from the Langlade County GOP to Steen’s campaign were identified, which had raised $174,129 in 2022.

Potential felony charges could be brought forth in Racine County. The Racine County District Attorney’s Office has confirmed receipt of a ‘Finding of Probable Cause’ and ‘Referral to District Attorney’ from the Wisconsin Ethics Commission related to the Friends of Adam Steen Campaign Committee. District Attorney Patricia Hanson, pictured above, is reviewing the investigation materials to determine if further inquiry is warranted and whether charges will be filed. A report on the charging decision is expected within 40 days to be submitted to the Wisconsin Ethics Commission by the Racine County District Attorney.  See the D.A statement below.

WisPolitics.com first reported on the story.

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