Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Ron DeSantis Hit With Ethics Complaint From Trump Super PAC

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A political action committee supporting former President Donald Trump has filed an against Governor Ron DeSantis ahead of his expected 2024 announcement.

Make America Great Again Inc. claims the Sunshine State governor has violated state ethics and election laws with his “shadow presidential campaign.” 

On Wednesday, the group filed the complaint with the state's Commission on Ethics, a majority of which are DeSantis appointees.

NBC News first reported the complaint alleges that DeSantis has already checked all the boxes for someone considering a run for the White House, including making stops in early primary states; writing a book; raising tens of millions of dollars to go into a state-level committee that could be transferred to a federal ; and watching a constellation of supporter-led super PACs and an outside nonprofit group pop up, some with the stated intention of getting DeSantis to run for president. (RELATED: DeSantis Tests Presidential Waters In Iowa With Trump-Endorsed Governor)

The pro-Trump super PAC says the combination of those steps violates a handful of Florida laws about officeholders' accepting illegal gifts.

“This letter provides ample evidence to support a finding of probable cause by the Florida Commission on Ethics that Governor DeSantis, in concert with certain associated political committees, political consultants and a 501(c)(4) organization, has solicited and received millions of dollars' worth of illegal gifts in violation of Florida State ethics laws and the Florida Constitution,” the draft complaint reads. 

While the group undoubtedly faces an uphill battle against DeSantis, if the governor did face penalties, they could include fines, public censure, ballot disqualification, removal from office, or impeachment.

The governor has brushed off the lawsuit.

“Adding this to the list of frivolous and politically motivated attacks — it's inappropriate to use state ethics for partisan purposes,” said Taryn Fenske, DeSantis' communications director.

Read a copy of the formal complaint below:

It is addressed to the chairman of the Ethics Commission, Glenton Gil