The government agency tasked with investigating campaign finance violations is on its way to intentionally making that very obligation more difficult to accomplish.
The Federal Election Commission is a notoriously deadlocked agency that has nonetheless taken some significant enforcement actions in recent years. In 2019, for instance, the FEC issued record fines in relation to a Jeb Bush super PAC’s acceptance of $1.3 million from a Chinese-owned corporation. Last year, the agency fined Marathon Petroleum Company for giving $1 million to Republican party campaign committees while the fossil fuel company had existing contracts with the federal government.
Now FEC Commissioner Allen Dickerson, who was appointed by President Donald Trump, is pushing a rules change that would encumber the agency’s ability to investigate such violations. The proposal would require the FEC’s Office of General Counsel to get explicit approval from the commissioners for any investigative activity, no matter how big or small.