Senior Communications Manager
Jan Baran Discusses Donald Trump’s Use of Trump-Affiliated Services
Jan Witold Baran, co-chair of Wiley Rein’s Election Law & Government Ethics Practice, was quoted in an article published yesterday by Politico about how Donald Trump blurs the ethical lines between politician and businessman.
According to the article, Mr. Trump has self-financed his campaign, which has political observers curious to review his quarterly report which is due to the Federal Election Commission by October 15. It is permissible for Mr. Trump to spend campaign dollars on services to Trump-affiliated entities, but he must charge a fair-market value for goods and services. Discounted services, however, would be considered an in-kind contribution.
“If he didn’t pay for the airline travel it would be an illegal corporate contribution, and there’s nothing in the law to require Trump to lease an airplane from another company,” Mr. Baran said. “So the fact that he happens to own an aircraft — he’s allowed to use it, and if it’s owned by a corporation, as his is, he just has to pay for it.”
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