Note: this content was originally published by NPR, and includes an interview with Checks & Balances member Trevor Potter.
The impeachment inquiry into President Trump’s July 25 phone call could hinge on whether or not his request to have Ukraine investigate Joe Biden amounts to a campaign finance violation.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has said the president is “not above the law,” while the White House has refused to comply with what it calls “baseless, unconstitutional efforts to overturn the democratic process.”
Despite conflicting signals coming from Washington, the question remains: Did President Trump violate campaign finance laws by asking the Ukraine president to investigate Joe Biden?
Campaign finance expert Trevor Potter, who is president of the nonpartisan Campaign Legal Center, says the answer is clear — yes, he did.
Campaign finance law states: “It shall be unlawful for a foreign national, directly or indirectly, to make a contribution or donation of money or other thing of value, or to make an express or implied promise to make a contribution or donation, in connection with a federal, state, or local election.”
Potter says the president’s call violates this rule and serves as a “classic case” of a candidate illegally requesting help from a foreign government.