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Liz Cheney’s Concession Speech May Have Violated Campaign Finance Rules

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


Rep. Liz Cheney continues to deal with adversity even after her resounding defeat in Wyoming’s GOP primary earlier this week at the hands of a Trump-backed rival, attorney Harriet Hageman.

According to CNN, Cheney’s concession speech, which she gave Tuesday evening to a small crowd outside Jackson, Wyoming, was filmed by James Goldston, the former president of ABC News who also helped out with the prime-time Jan. 6 Committee hearings earlier this summer.

The outlet notes:

Goldston, the former president of ABC News, was surveying the scene at Cheney’s campaign event at a cattle ranch outside Jackson. He and a small film crew were taking in the picturesque landscape, with the Grand Tetons in the distance and the Wyoming prairie bathed in the evening sunlight, in what will be a stunning backdrop for a marquee Cheney speech expected later today.

As the vice chair of the committee, Cheney worked closely with Goldston’s team in presenting the findings in a TV-ready fashion to a national audience. They have worked together to edit hours and hours of recordings that have brought to life the insurrection as it unfolded.

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Goldston was not in Wyoming as part of his work as a special adviser to the House committee, CNN has learned, but rather on assignment for his own production company for potential future projects involving Cheney.

However, according to Federal Election Commission rules, Goldston’s activities could be seen as an improper “donation in kind.”

An in-kind contribution is a non-monetary contribution. Goods or services offered free or at less than the usual charge result in an in-kind contribution. Similarly, when a person or entity pays for services on the committee’s behalf, the payment is an in-kind contribution,” says an explainer from the agency.

“An expenditure made by any person or entity in cooperation, consultation or concert with, or at the request or suggestion of, a candidate’s campaign is also considered an in-kind contribution to the candidate,” the FEC added.

“The value of an in-kind contribution—the usual and normal charge—counts against the contribution limit as a gift of money does. Additionally, like any other contribution, in-kind contributions count against the contributor’s limit for the next election, unless they are otherwise designated,” the agency said.

It’s not clear if any complaints have been filed yet with the FEC or if any action against Cheney is forthcoming.

Her opponent, Hageman, talked Tuesday evening about what her victory means going forward.

“Wyoming has spoken, and it was a resounding victory,” Hageman told Fox News’ Laura Ingraham. “I think that it is a reflection on a couple of things. One is Liz Cheney. It’s a reflection on her and the fact that we don’t want her allegedly representing us in Congress anymore.

“It was also, I think, a reflection on what happened last week in Mar-a-Lago,” she added, referencing the widely criticized raid of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate last week.

“Washington, D.C., has become too big and too corrupt,” Hageman continued. “I think that there are a lot of people in Washington, D.C., both Republicans and Democrats, who don’t care whose in power so long as they are, and we need to change that.”

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“We need to bring the power back to the people. We need to return the power to the states where it belongs. We need to actually adhere to our constitutional construct, which is separation of powers, being regulatory agencies and unelected bureaucrats have essentially taken over the role of legislating in this country. And that needs to fundamentally change,” she said.

“The people of Washington, D.C., are not serious, and they didn’t like President Trump because he recognized everyday, family-dinner-table issues that are important to the citizens of the United States, and he attempted to deliver,” she said.

“The last thing that people in Washington, D.C., want is accountability and success,” Hageman added. “We want serious leaders who are going to start putting aside the nonsense and focus on the issues that are important.”

“Wyoming has spoken, and Wyoming is speaking on behalf of people all across this great country. We’re fed up. We’re just flat fed up. And there’s going to be a red wave in November, and I’m excited to be a part of it. We need to take our country back,” she said.

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