Jim Jordan hit with FEC investigation over $2 million in campaign donations after Trump's election

The campaign claims they are accounting errors that slipped through the cracks as money poured in from Trump fans

By Jon Skolnik
March 4, 2021 4:34PM (UTC)
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Rep Jim Jordan, R-OH, speaks during the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative Law hearing on Online Platforms and Market Power in the Rayburn House office Building, July 29, 2020 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. (Mandel Ngan-Pool/Getty Images)

Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, is facing scrutiny from federal regulators following an influx of campaign cash following the election of Donald Trump to the White House.

Jordan was sent ten officials notices by the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) on Tuesday demanding an "audit or enforcement action" over financial discrepancies in several of his campaign finance reports. The notices ask that Jordan explain away discrepancies between reports filed years ago and reports filed earlier this year. Some of these discrepancies are considerably large, with ten of them exceeding $100,000 and one exceeding $900,000, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer

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Jordan's campaign has maintained that there was never any money missing from the account, attributing the discrepancies to honest accounting mistakes made due to trouble adjusting to a flood of money that quickly poured in as a result of Jordan's sharp uptick in popularity. 

"The campaign has filed an amendment with the FEC to correct its campaign finance reports going back to 2018," said Jordan's campaign manager, Kevin Eichinger. "There was never any money missing from the account. In fact, the campaign's cash balance is actually higher than previously listed on the campaign finance reports. The error occurred when the former campaign treasurer inadvertently double-reported certain fundraising expenses."  

Jordan's campaign raised $733,416 during the two years before former President Trump took office. Jordan spent $422,967 of this money, and was left with 1.3 million in his treasury. In the next two years, Jordan's campaign took in $1,241,417 but spent $1,809,464.

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From 2019 to 2020, Jordan raised $18,637,140 and spent $13,268,968, leaving him over $6 million in the bank. By then, California had become his top fundraising source as opposed to Ohio, his home state. 

"The outpouring of nationwide support for our message is why we are raising a ton more money," said Eichinger. "It wasn't like we were actively looking to raise more money. There was an organic outpouring of support. We needed to put in place the operation to handle that kind of influx."

Campaign finance experts have said that, if Jordan does not address the discrepancies adequately, the case may be given to the FEC's law enforcement arm, a move that would not be made public. 

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"Jordan's campaign appears to have had systemic reporting problems over multiple years, and these amendments represent substantial shifts in the campaign's disclosed fundraising and spending," said Brendan Fischer, director of reform at the Campaign Legal Center, "I suspect that the FEC will closely review discrepancies of such a significant amount."

Jenna Grande, press secretary for Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, said, "This is a very large amount of money in discrepancies. While there is still much to learn about this situation, Rep. Jordan's campaign needs to provide a full accounting of what happened and why."

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In addition to Jordan, other top Trump supporters currently facing an FEC probe for curious campaign funding include freshman Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert and fellow insurrection caucus member Texas Sen. Ted Cruz. 


Jon Skolnik

Jon Skolnik is a staff writer at Salon. His work has appeared in Current Affairs, The Baffler, AlterNet, and The New York Daily News.

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Campaign Finance Discrepancies Fec Investigation Jim Jordan Probe