The Federal Election Commission has levied its biggest fine since the Citizens United decision against pro-Jeb Bush super PAC Right to Rise. Right to Rise took $1.3 million in donations from American Pacific International Capital, Inc. (APIC), a Chinese-owned corporation, breaking federal law barring foreign interference in elections. APIC was fined $550,000 for violating the foreign national contribution ban, while Right to Rise was fined $390,000 for soliciting a foreign national contribution. The decision is the third largest FEC fine in history.
A bombshell report by The Intercept in August 2016 first laid out evidence of the violation. “Today’s action is a rare and remarkable step by the FEC, and a reminder that safeguarding our elections against foreign interference is in America’s vital national security interests,” said Trevor Potter, president of Campaign Legal Center, and a former Republican chairman of the FEC. “This illegal $1.3 million contribution is unmistakable proof that Citizens United opened the floodgates to foreign money in the U.S., and it is surely the tip of the iceberg.”