“Opinion: Close this FEC loophole that killed the case over Trump’s payment to Stormy Daniels”

FEC Commissioner Ellen Weintraub’s WaPo oped:

But when the FEC’s professional legal staff recommended the commission investigate, two Republican commissioners instead tanked the case without a word about its merits. Since Cohen had already been prosecuted, they said, “pursuing these matters further was not the best use of agency resources.”

Now, we’re pretty busy at the FEC, digging out from all the matters that piled up for more than a year while we were short on commissioners — and therefore unable to decide cases.

But are we too busy to enforce the law against the former president of the United States for his brazen violation of federal campaign finance laws on the eve of a presidential election? No.

Would pursuing this matter have been an unwise use of resources? Of course not. Taxpayers entrust us with resources exactly so that we can pursue enforcement in important cases and ensure that no one is above the law. This dismissal of the allegations against Trump is arbitrary, capricious, outrageous and contrary to the law that Congress created the FEC to enforce.

It gets worse. The Republican commissioners’ grossly inadequate justification for dismissal is effectively insulated from review because of the last 13 words of their statement: “We voted to dismiss these matters as an exercise of our prosecutorial discretion.” The courts have turned “prosecutorial discretion” into magic words that render any administrative decision invulnerable to appeal.

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