According to Federal Election Commission records reviewed by Raw Story, Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), one of former President Donald Trump’s most vocal supporters in Congress, has agreed to personally pay a $12,000 fine for violating federal election law.
An FEC inquiry found that Greene violated the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 by inappropriately sharing an ad made by the Stop Socialism Now PAC on her campaign Facebook page and Twitter account in December 2020.
Greene broke the law by soliciting contributions for an entity that is not subject to the limitations imposed on federal candidates, who may not receive donations in excess of $5,000, according to the FEC, which issued documentation of Greene’s penalties today. The PAC backed Republican candidates in Georgia’s United States Senate runoff election in early 2021.
Greene also took part in the ad, released in December 2020, promoting Republican Senate candidates Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue.
“Imagine. Biden and Harris in the White House,” Greene says. “Pelosi is speaker. And Schumer runs the Senate. All because Georgia lost our two Senate runoffs to Democrats Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock. First off, Democrats will end the filibuster so no one can stop them. Then they’ll add new Democratic states. They’ll pack the Supreme Court. They’ll take away our guns. Then they’ll add their open borders, Green New Deal, pro-abortion, socialist agenda.”
“Make a contribution today to Stop Socialism Now PAC, because if Democrats win in Georgia, it’s all over for America.” The narrator then turns the video back to Greene.
Five days after being placed on Stop Socialism Now’s page in early December 2020, Greene reposted the commercial on her official Facebook page. Later that month, Greene retweeted the ad from the SuperPAC.
Greene’s office did not promptly address a Raw Story inquiry.
The attorneys for Greene contended that their client had not broken any laws by seeking contributions for the super PAC. “Greene made an appearance, gave general remarks of support, and left the event before others solicited contributions for the PAC,” Greene’s attorneys Derek H. Ross and Scott Gast wrote to the FEC, comparing the commercial to a candidate attending a PAC fundraiser.
It seems like most of the six-person nonpartisan commission on the FEC disagreed, as they approved a $12,000 fine with Greene by a vote of 5-1. Republican Trey Trainor, who previously served as an advisor to Trump’s 2016 campaign and was a nominee of Trump’s, cast the only vote against.
According to the FEC general counsel, Greene’s presence in the digital ad was a breach since it encouraged viewers to “donate now” and provided a link to make contributions.
According to Aaron Scherb, senior director of legislative affairs for Common Cause, a nonprofit watchdog organization that initially filed a complaint with the FEC against Greene, accepting a $12,000 fine is “just a slap on the wrist” for soliciting unlimited contributions in a superPAC ad, which is a clear violation of the soft money’ ban. Although the penalties are not substantial, the FEC’s move represents a refreshing shift from their previous reluctance to enforce the campaign finance laws that Congress approved. If lawmakers were able to simply ignore contribution and solicitation limitations, our democracy would be at risk of being easily influenced.
Marjorie Taylor Greene brags "I take the fines on the House floor. I'm up to almost $90,000 in fines" pic.twitter.com/I39RjjU1eg— Jason S. Campbell (@JasonSCampbell) January 5, 2022
Greene has a history of receiving monetary penalties from the state; in 2022, she admitted to Newsmax that she had spent about $90,000 on fines for breaking U.S. House rules mandating the use of masks during the pandemic.