Common Cause

For Immediate Release

Organization Profile: 

David Vance, Common Cause, (202) 736-5712

DOJ & FEC Complaints Filed Against Cambridge Analytica for Violating Prohibition on Election-Related Activities by Foreign Nationals in Work for Trump, Others

WASHINGTON - Today, Common Cause filed complaints with the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Election Commission (FEC) alleging reason to believe that Cambridge Analytica LTD and its sister company, SCL Group Limited, and numerous employees of the London-based companies repeatedly violated the prohibition on foreign nationals performing certain election-related activities over two U.S. election cycles – including extensive work for the Trump campaign.

 As the complaint outlines in detail, publicly available data and numerous published reports make abundantly clear that numerous employees of the companies “violated the federal law prohibition on foreign nationals ‘directly or indirectly participat[ing] in the decision-making process of any . . . political committee . . . such as decisions concerning the making of . . . expenditures’” in connection with U.S. elections.

Among the foreign nationals employed by the two companies named in the complaint are Alexander Nix, Nigel Oakes, Alexander Tayler, Mark Turnbull and Christopher Wylie who all reportedly did significant work for U.S. election campaign during the 2014 and 2016 election cycles. The companies, staffed almost entirely by foreign nationals, did more than $5 million worth of work for the presidential campaigns of both Donald Trump and Ted Cruz as well as millions of dollars more for other campaigns and Super PACs including the John Bolton Super PAC and Make America Number 1.

In addition to alleging violations of campaign finance law, the complaint filed with the DOJ notes that certain U.S. nationals operating and/or working for Cambridge Analytica and its political committee clients, including the Trump campaign and the John Bolton Super PAC, may have aided and abetted foreign national offenses against the U.S., conspired to commit offenses against the U.S., and/or attempted to conspire to commit offenses against the U.S. in violation of the U.S. criminal code.

“We are a nation of laws and our campaign finance laws must be enforced by the FEC and the Justice Department in order to safeguard the integrity of our elections from foreign interference,” said Karen Hobert Flynn, president of Common Cause. “These companies and individuals ignored the law, enriched themselves performing millions of dollars of prohibited work for candidates and committees, and then boasted about the effectiveness of their activities in swaying U.S. elections.”

“It defies belief that even after their own attorney warned them that they would be violating the prohibition on performing certain election-related activities in U.S. elections that they did so anyway,” said Paul S. Ryan, Common Cause vice president for policy and litigation. “A full investigation must be conducted, and if Cambridge Analytica and its staff did in fact repeatedly violate our laws, then there must be punishment levied sufficient to deter similar lawbreaking in future.”

To read the DOJ complaint, click here

To read the FEC complaint, click here

 To read this release online, click here.


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Common Cause is a nonpartisan, nonprofit advocacy organization founded in 1970 by John Gardner as a vehicle for citizens to make their voices heard in the political process and to hold their elected leaders accountable to the public interest.

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