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News Every Day |

'Fraud': Trump campaign denies federal filing naming Michael Flynn as VP running mate



A new political committee registered with the Federal Election Commission indicates Donald Trump will name his former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, as his vice presidential running-mate.

But the committee, “Donald J. Trump and Michael Flynn for President 2024 Inc.”, is bogus, the Trump campaign confirmed to Raw Story.

“It’s fraud,” Bradley T. Crate, the Trump campaign treasurer, told Raw Story.

The filing, submitted to the FEC on Tuesday, lists Crate, who is legitimately the treasurer of the Trump’s principal campaign committee, as treasurer of the bogus Trump/Flynn committee.

Besides being false, the filing also contains a sloppy error: It lists Crate, not Trump, as the candidate for president.

Judith Ingram, a spokesperson for the Federal Election Commission, declined to comment.

Plague of fake political committees

It takes little time and effort to create a federal political committee, at least on paper.

But once done, a federal record is automatically generated and posted publicly to FEC.gov, the agency's website.

In late 2022, for example, someone created a federal political committee indicating that former Vice President Mike Pence had formed a 2024 presidential campaign committee.

But the committee was a fraud, and Pence's representatives scrambled to correct the record and debunk several premature media reports that Pence, who ultimately would run for president months later, had entered the race.

President Joe Biden, who Trump is slated to debate on Thursday, has also experienced fake political committees created in his name.

A parade of other bogus filings have also served to cause confusion, and sometimes, even threatening situations, such as when people have used FEC documents to launch racist screeds or doxx their enemies.

The FEC notes that "knowingly and willfully making any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation to a federal government agency" is a violation of federal law, and the FEC is "authorized to report apparent violations to the appropriate law enforcement agencies."

But the FEC, an independent, bipartisan civil regulatory agency that only has the power to seek civil penalties against suspected bad actors, rarely asks the Department of Justice to pursue such matters.

Violations typically result in no more than a sternly worded letter from the FEC.

Flynn in the spotlight

A retired lieutenant general who briefly served as Trump’s national security adviser, Flynn remains a galvanizing figure among more extreme elements of Trump’s base.

During the 2016 campaign, Flynn led supporters in chanting, “Lock her up,” directed at Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. Flynn’s stint as national security adviser under Trump proved short lived, and he eventually pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

Flynn received a pardon from Trump after the 2020 election, and Flynn emerged as a leading figure in the effort to overturn the election, including meeting with Trump at the White House in December 2020 and urging him to seize voting machines and re-run the election.

Flynn spent the months of April and May promoting a documentary movie that portrays him as a victim of political persecution, and has continued to play a role as a kind of surrogate for the former president, who has faced his own legal challenges, in amplifying grievances against a so-called “Deep State.”

Since receiving the presidential pardon in November 2020, Flynn has not avoided controversy, including his association with a volunteer security team that has been accused of detaining a Washington state woman based on a manufactured claim that her life was in danger from a mysterious global ballot trafficking group, as exclusively reported by Raw Story.

Among Flynn’s supporters, the retired lieutenant general’s name is frequently mentioned as a good pick for vice president during a second Trump term.

Ivan Raiklin, a retired Army Special Forces officer, has participated as a presenter in the Flynn movie tour. In a post on X yesterday, Raiklin touted Flynn as a strong 2024 vice presidential possibility, noting how Flynn has long remained “loyal” to Trump.

Raiklin set up an X poll asking who Trump should choose as his running mate in 2024.. One commenter responded with a fake cover of Time magazine showing Flynn standing alongside Trump, with the inscription: “Trump/Flynn: Patriots the Deep State fear most.”

Patrick Byrne, a close associate, recently predicted on X that "in two weeks Trump is going to be either in jail or under house arrest" and that "his VP needs to be a General." He linked to Flynn's social media profile.

Trump hasn’t exactly dampened Flynn-for-vice-president enthusiasm as he continues to mull a new running mate after splitting with former Vice President Mike Pence.

In March 2023, the former president called into a “ReAwaken America Tour” stop at the Trump National Doral resort in Miami and told Flynn: “You just have to stay healthy because we’re bringing you back. We’re going to bring you back.”

Other potential Trump vice presidential short-listers include Sen. J.D. Vance of Ohio, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina, Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas, Rep. Byron Donalds of Florida, Rep. Elise Stefanik of New York, North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders and former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson.

In a fundraising message to supporters Wednesday, Trump wrote that he has "narrowed down the field to just the strongest contenders, but I need to hear from [you] before I make my official decision."


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