In 2004, FEC Voted 5-1 to Find Grover Norquist Contact List Provided to Bush-Cheney Committee Was a “Thing of Value” for Campaign Finance Purposes

More evidence that a Russian government offer to provide opposition research to the Trump campaign would be considered a ‘thing of value” for purposes of the law barring the solicitation of things of value from foreign entities (as Donald Trump Jr. is now alleged to have done):

In MUR 5409 (2004), the Federal Election Commission voted 5-1 to accept the general counsel’s finding that Grover Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform (a corporation) provided a “thing of value” to the Bush-Cheney reelection campaign. It was a list of conservative activists in 37 states.  Some of the information may have been publicly available when Norquist gave it to Ken Mehlman of the campaign. The General Counsel found that this was a prohibited corporate contribution and that Bush-Cheney violated the law by failing to report it. But it found the list had so little value that the General Counsel did not recommend pursuing the matter further.

Commissioner Toner alone dissented. He believed the matter should be dismissed as a matter of prosecutorial discretion.

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