A federal judge in Minnesota on Wednesday dismissed a lawsuit filed by WinRed, a company that processes online donations for Republicans, that sought to block state attorneys general from investigating fund-raising tactics that have triggered complaints of fraud.
The attorneys general from four states — New York, Minnesota, Maryland and Connecticut — first sent letters to WinRed last April, asking for documents after a New York Times investigation revealed the company’s use of prechecked boxes to automatically enroll donors in recurring contribution programs. The boxes resulted in a surge in demands for refunds from supporters of former President Donald J. Trump.
WinRed declined to provide the documents and instead went to federal court to argue that federal law should pre-empt any state-level consumer investigations. Chief Judge John R. Tunheim of the U.S. District Court in Minnesota ruled against the company on Wednesday.