New Federal Indictment of 13 Russians from Special Counsel Mueller Says, Among Other Things, That Russians Violated Federal Election Law Through Political Ads

Here’s the indictment, and a few snippets I’ve posted on Twitter: From the indictment (https://t.co/JFEIwHoJL4) pic.twitter.com/S5UAEkP7sF — Rick Hasen (@rickhasen) February 16, 2018 Election-law related charges pic.twitter.com/wnoiq94HIi — Rick Hasen (@rickhasen) February 16, 2018 Yet only some of these ads … Continue reading

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In Response to FEC Complaint by Common Cause, Trump’s Lawyer Michael Cohen Says He Paid $130,000 to Porn Star. Is There a Campaign Finance Violation?

Maggie Haberman for the NYT: Michael D. Cohen, President Trump’s longtime personal lawyer, said on Tuesday that he had paid $130,000 out of his own pocket to a pornographic-film actress who had once claimed to have had an affair with … Continue reading

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Liberal Wisconsin Supreme Court Candidate Speaking Out on Judicial Issues in Ways Some Find Troubling

Fascinating Patrick Marley report in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.  Usually it is conservatives pushing the envelope on judicial campaign speech. But now there’s this: Tim Burns is doing what state Supreme Court candidates have long avoided — telling voters what he thinks of … Continue reading

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Today’s Must Read: “Zombie Campaigns: The campaign is over. The candidate might be dead. But the spending never stops.”

This is something from the Tampa Bay Times: IT’S BEEN MORE THAN A DECADE since South Florida Rep. Mark Foley was forced out of Congress for sending sexual text messages to teenage boys. But Foley tapped his congressional campaign fund to dine on … Continue reading

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“The Coming Storm? Hush Money and the Federal Election Campaign Act”–On Trump at That $130K to Stormy Daniels

Important analysis by Thomas Frampton at the Harvard Law Review blog: In August 2016, federal law enforcement and intelligence officials were alerted to an unsettling possibility: then-candidate Trump’s personal indiscretions might leave him susceptible to the threat of Russian blackmail. We … Continue reading

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“Trump Allies Are Profiting From Multiple Trump Groups, Testing Campaign Finance Laws”

BuzzFeed: President Donald Trump’s close political advisers are making millions of dollars working for several different entities gearing up for Trump’s re-election campaign — raising questions about whether they are following campaign finance laws designed to keep campaigns from coordinating … Continue reading

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As Government May Shut Down, President to Headline $100,000-Per-Couple Fundraiser ($250K if you want to be at roundtable) at Mar-a-Lago Resort He Owns, Profiting from the Event Personally

Bloomberg: President Donald Trump will mark the first anniversary of his inauguration on Saturday with a celebration at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, with tickets starting at $100,000 a pair. That amount, according to the invitation, will pay for dinner … Continue reading

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“Senators Introduce Bill to Protect Election Systems from Cyberattacks”

Release: Lawmakers in the Senate introduced legislation today that would help states prevent cyberattacks on election infrastructure and enhance confidence in vote totals from electronic voting machines. The bill comes amid ongoing revelations about Russia’s unprecedented attempts to interfere in … Continue reading

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Unanimous 9th Circuit Panel, in Opinion by Judge Bybee, Upholds Montana Law Barring Judicial Candidates from Seeking, Accepting, or Using Political Party Endorsements

From the opinion: Montanans select their judges through nonpartisan popular elections. In an effort to keep those elections nonpartisan, Montana has restricted judicial-campaign speech. One of those restrictions is before us—a rule that prohibits candidates from seeking, accepting, or using … Continue reading

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Much Russian Activity Meddling in 2016 Elections Likely Didn’t Violate Federal Law, Wouldn’t Be Covered by Proposed “Honest Ads Act,” and May Be Beyond (Conservative Justices’ Views of) Constitution to Limit

I’ve already hinted at some of these things in this Politico piece, but I’ve now fleshed it out in the latest draft of my forthcoming First Amendment Law Review article, Cheap Speech and What It Has Done (to American Democracy). … Continue reading

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“Trump, Twitter, and the Russians: The Growing Obsolescence of Federal Campaign Finance Law”

Tony Gaughan has posted this draft on SSRN (forthcoming, Southern California Interdisciplinary Law Journal).  Here is the abstract: Since the 1970s, federal campaign finance law has been built on four pillars. The first is contribution limits on donations to candidate … Continue reading

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