Doug Jones accepted Rosie O’Donnell campaign donations beyond federal legal limit

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Newly elected Alabama Senator Doug Jones has been accused of accepting donations beyond the federal legal limit from nationally known comedian, and Donald Trump adversary, Rosie O’Donnell.

A report by the New York Post published Saturday evening, details the donations O’Donnell madefor at least five Democratic candidates including Jones. According to the report, she donated $4,700 to the Doug Jones campaign using an online liberal fundraising platform, ActBlue.

Currently, the Federal Election Commission (FEC) limits the total that any one person can give to an individual candidate to $2,700 per election. The limit applies separately to primaries, runoffs and general elections.

O’Donnell said she was unaware of the law and assumed that ActBlue would automatically limit her donations accordingly, “If 2700 is the cut off — [candidates]should refund the money,” she wrote. “I don’t look to see who I can donate most to … I just donate assuming they do not accept what is over the limit.”

According to campaign fillings, O’Donnell donated more than $90,000 to 50 different federal candidates and committees during the 2017-2018 election cycle, and exceeded the legal limit on at least five campaigns.

Both donors, and the candidates they donate to, are legally liable for any contributions that go over the legal limit. However, it’s unlikely O’Donnell or her benefactors will be penalized for breaking FEC rules.

Contributions that break the limit can be refunded to the donor or counted toward a different election. Married donors may also attribute the given money to a spouse.

“Donors are rarely fined for excess contributions and then only if they are hiding the donations from the recipients,” prominent D.C. campaign finance lawyer Jan Witold Baran told the Post. “Campaigns generally are not penalized for isolated contributions over a limit. However, multiple excessive donations may lead to an investigation … Fines could result in such cases.”

Jones has yet to comment on the accusations.

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