What is a campaign finance violation? That seems like a pretty important question because every time we turn around, the Democrats are claiming that Donald Trump committed one.
They claimed that paying hush money to Stormy Daniels amounted to a campaign finance violation. Now, they are claiming that Donald Trump's conversation with the Ukrainian President is one as well.
Campaign finance law governs who can donate to political campaigns and how much they are allowed to donate. In general, donations to Presidential campaigns are capped at $2,800 per election.
But a donation doesn't have to just be cash. Anything of value can count as a donation. For example, if you own a wedding venue and agree to let a candidate hold a rally there for free, that still counts as a donation. Specifically, it is called an "in-kind donation." Basically, that donated venue space is worth whatever you would have charged someone else to use it.
If the venue typically costs more than $2,800 to rent, then allowing a candidate to use it free-of-charge would constitute an illegal campaign donation.
The challenge lies in determining whether something has value and if so, then how much. Democrats are claiming that Trump violated campaign finance laws because a Ukrainian criminal investigation targeting Joe Biden would be beneficial to his campaign. Therefore, they argue that it has value. Foreigners are not allowed to contribute any money to Presidential campaigns, so by that logic, Trump would have been soliciting an illegal campaign contribution.
Notice how the transcript doesn't indicate this at all. There is no mention of the campaign or Biden as a candidate. It is simply a discussion about whether the previous Vice President broke the law or not.
The Left's argument is obviously a stretch. Democrats love to say nowadays that "no one is above the law." Except here, they are treating Joe Biden's candidacy as a shield from scrutiny. They are suggesting that the minute they file their candidacy forms with the Federal Elections Commission, an incumbent President running for re-election cannot even question their past actions.
This is fresh coming from the party promising to prosecute Trump when he leaves office...
This is not the way that campaign finance laws were designed. If this was the case, then practically anything a President did would qualify as influencing the campaign. If this was the case, then celebrity endorsements would be illegal. Think about it: if a movie star makes more than $2,800 to endorse a product during a commercial, then them endorsing a Presidential candidate would be an illegal in-kind donation. They would be giving something of value to a campaign in excess of the donation limit.
That would obviously be an unconstitutional way to enforce the law. Telling someone they can't endorse a candidate would be a clear violation of their free speech rights.
Well, then the same logic applies to Trump's comments. He has every right as an individual and as the President of the United States to discuss the previous administration's misconduct with foreign leaders.