EXCLUSIVE: FEC Exonerates Ted Cruz After Left-Wing Group Accused Him Of Breaking Ethics Laws

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James Lynch Investigative Reporter
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The Federal Election Commission (FEC) cleared Republican Texas Sen. Ted Cruz of wrongdoing in August after a left-wing activist organization accused him of breaking campaign ethics laws, Federal Election Commission (FEC) filings show.

FEC officials determined Cruz “did not personally benefit” from using campaign funds on Facebook ads to promote his book “One Vote Away,” the commission said in an Aug. 14 Statement of Reasons explaining why the committee will not pursue any further action against Cruz.


Cruz provided an affidavit showing that he directed his publisher to donate the book’s royalties to charity and that his family did not benefit financially from the book. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Ted Cruz Explains How He Tanked Biden’s Nominees)

“Respondents provided an affidavit from Senator Cruz stating that he directed his publisher to donate all past and future royalties from his book to charity and that neither he nor any member of his family has received any financial benefit from sales of the book or taken any tax deductions from the subsequent charitable donations,” the FEC stated.

“As set out in the Second General Counsel’s Report, the developed factual record credibly establishes that the Respondents did not violate 52 U.S.C. § 30114(b) because Cruz did not personally benefit from the book’s promotion. Instead, the conduct at issue is analogous to proposals the Commission has deemed permissible in previous advisory opinions,” the FEC Statement of Reasons adds.

The FEC voted 6-0 not to pursue further action against Cruz in July, according to Cruz’s case file. The FEC declined to comment and referred the Daily Caller to the case file.

The Campaign Legal Center (CLC), a left-wing watchdog organization, filed the FEC complaint accusing Cruz of illegally using campaign funds for personal gain by promoting his book and receiving royalties, the group announced in an Aug. 2021 press release. The CLC complaint was covered by media outlets including Forbes, CNBC and the Daily Beast, which cited it as evidence of misconduct by Cruz.

“Because Cruz receives royalties from book sales, his campaign crossed a legal line by spending donor funds on Facebook ads promoting sales of that book,” CLC director of federal reform Brendan Fischer asserted in the press release.

Forbes published multiple stories afterwards indicating that Cruz illegally promoted his book, including an article speculating that Cruz’s book became a bestseller because of his campaign funds. Cruz’s book was published in 2020 and focuses on how a single vote on the Supreme Court can significantly impact people’s lives, especially if the left were to regain control of the high court. It became a New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Amazon and Publisher’s Weekly Bestseller, according to its publisher, Regnery Publishing.

Major donors to the CLC include left-wing billionaire George Soros’ Open Society Foundations and other left-wing charitable organizations such as the Ford Foundation, MacArthur Foundation, ActBlue, Democracy Fund, Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Hewlett Foundation, Joyce Foundation and the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), according to watchdog organization Capital Research Center’s InfluenceWatch project and the transparency disclosure on CLC’s website that updates on a monthly basis.

CLC brought in more than $25 million of total operating revenue in 2022, according to its most recent nonprofit tax forms and its annual financial report. The group received 73 percent of its revenue from foundations and had roughly $13 million of operating expenses in 2022.

CLC received $2.5 million from disgraced crypto tycoon and Democratic megadonor Sam Bankman-Fried, who is currently in jail as he awaits trial on numerous charges for allegedly diverting billions of dollars from his crypto exchange FTX for personal use. CLC told The New York Times in December that Bankman-Fried’s donations were moved to a separate account “until instructions are received from bankruptcy courts.”

“The FEC fully vindicated Senator Cruz by dismissing this baseless complaint from a partisan group funded by George Soros. These left-wing groups pretending to be nonpartisan use the most disgusting smear tactics in politics,” a spokesman for Cruz told the Caller.

CLC did not respond to a request for comment by the time of publication.