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Donations directed to Trump Super PAC by Canadians ruled illegal


Mr. Zekelman used the small gathering, in a private room at the hotel, to urge Mr. Trump for more than six minutes to use his executive power to curb imports of foreign steel into the United States from Israel. Asia, a decision that would help its Sales. He also asked Mr. Trump, urging him another three minutes over dinner, to reevaluate road safety rules that he said made it difficult for truckers in the United States to move his steel pipes.

The exchange became public knowledge because other dinner guests included Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, who later worked with the President’s personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani, and released a recording of the dinner during early deliberations on the impeachment of Mr. Trump in 2020.

“Let’s say someone is half an hour from home on their long-haul truck – they literally have to pull over to the side of the road and pull over,” Mr Zekelman said at the 2018 dinner. , depending on the record. “They can’t go home.”

Mr. Parnas and Mr. Fruman were ultimately charged in a separate voter fraud scheme. The $325,000 they donated to America First Action has already been transferred by the super PAC to the Treasury.

In 2016, the Federal Election Commission voted unanimously “to prioritize cases involving allegations of foreign influence,” and it followed up in a report to Congress in 2018. The issue had become a growing concern after that unlimited donations were allowed through super PACs and corporations. contributions became legal, making it easier for outsiders to circumvent the rules and make large donations.

In 2019, the commission imposed $940,000 in fines associated with donations to a super PAC supporting Jeb Bush’s 2016 presidential campaign after finding that $1.3 million in contributions in 2015 on behalf of a corporation company, American Pacific International Capital, came in part from two Chinese citizens.

Ms Weintraub said she would be disappointed if America First Action returned the donations to Mr Zekelman’s company, instead of transferring them to the Treasury, as he would receive more than he paid in fines. That provision of the settlement was negotiated by agency staff and Mr. Zekelman’s lawyers, she said, adding that she raised objections.

nytimes

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