Today, Free Speech For People and Campaign for Accountability filed an additional amendment to our joint FEC complaint filed May 3, 2017. This second amendment to the complaint provides new information which has come to public light in reporting since the May 3 filing. (For background on that filing, see here.)
According to a May 18, 2017 TIME article, the Russian government’s influence operation aimed at the 2016 U.S. presidential election used sophisticated algorithms to “target particular influencers,” including reporters, to help spread disinformation. Specifically, according to the TIME report, agents of the Russian government bought targeted advertisements on Facebook.
It’s against federal law for foreign nationals (let alone a foreign government) to spend money to influence U.S. elections, and buying political ads on Facebook would clearly fall into that category. And soon after the TIME report came out, FEC Commissioner Ellen Weintraub called for the FEC to investigate these ad purchases. This new amendment to the complaint provides the legal vehicle for that investigation.
To read and download a copy of the June 2 Amended Complaint, click here.