Federal Election Commission Vice Chairman Donald McGahn and fellow FEC Republicans have released a series of statements about past FEC enforcement cases, some years-old and going back to their earliest days on the commission.The move comes as McGahn prepares to leave the commission and return to private law practice. The statements may help establish a legacy for him by making it harder to enforce campaign finance rules in ways that the outspoken commissioner disagreed with.
In a footnote to one of the new statements, McGahn accused FEC Chairwoman Ellen Weintraub of “manipulation” of the FEC agenda to delay votes on some still-pending enforcement cases until the new commissioners arrive. The statement was filed in a case—designated Matter Under Review (MUR) 6543—regarding automated phone calls, known as robocalls, that criticized Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.).Weintraub had faulted McGahn and other FEC Republicans for delaying public release of the McHenry case. McGahn’s statement said the case was delayed because he asked FEC staffers to research whether the FEC rules defining messages of “express advocacy” for or against a candidate were enforceable.