Federal elections chair lays out just how illegal it is for Trump to take foreign election help

“I would not have thought that I needed to say this,” Federal Election Commission Chair Ellen Weintraub tweeted to introduce a statement firmly reminding candidates—meaning Donald Trump—that no, they cannot take election help from foreign governments and yes, they need to report such offers of help to the FBI. Weintraub’s statement doesn’t name Trump, but you can’t miss who she’s talking about.

“Let me make something 100% clear to the American public and anyone running for public office. It is illegal for any person to solicit, accept, or receive anything of value from a foreign national in connection with a U.S. election,” Weintraub said in the statement. “This is not a novel concept.” (Except, apparently, to Trump and his inner circle.)

“Election intervention from foreign governments has been considered unacceptable since the beginnings of our nation,” Weintraub continued. “Our Founding Fathers sounded the alarm about ‘foreign Interference, Intrigue, and Influence.’ They knew that when foreign governments seek to influence American politics, it is always to advance their own interests, not America’s.” 

All that being the case, “Anyone who solicits or accepts foreign assistance risks being on the wrong end of a federal investigation. Any political campaign that receives an offer of a prohibited donation from a foreign source should report that offer to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.”

It’s framed as a general statement, but there’s one candidate to whom this applies. Because Donald Trump neither knows nor cares about the laws any more than he cares about helping foreign governments advance their own interests as long as in doing so, they advance his own personal power and wealth.

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