In a slam-dunk response to a cease-and-desist letter from Donald Trump’s corporate attorneys, lawyers for the super PAC supporting former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush’s presidential bid suggested Trump’s legal team brush up on campaign finance law.
Right to Rise accused Trump of violating campaign finance laws in a complaint filed Wednesday, arguing the Trump Organization’s legal team sending out cease-and-desist letters amounts to the campaign illegally accepting corporate funds, the Washington Post reported.
It didn’t help Trump’s cause that his general counsel, Alan Garten, sent the threat of legal action to the Right to Rise PAC instead of its sister organization Right to Rise USA. Right to Rise USA was presumably the target of Trump’s legal ire, given its TV ads attacking the billionaire.
After delineating that Right to Rise, the leadership PAC, has no plans to produce anti-Trump ads, attorney Charles Spies suggested Garten study the Federal Election Commission’s website “to familiarize yourself about the differences between Leadership PACs and Super PACs.”
He also slipped in a few jabs at Trump himself.
“We are intrigued (but not surprised) by your continued efforts to silence critics of your client’s campaign by employing litigious threats and bullying,” Spies wrote. “Should your client actually be elected Commander-in-Chief, will you be the one writing the cease and desist letters to Vladimir Putin, or will that be handled by outside counsel?”
Spies further hit Trump over his plans to build a wall to secure the U.S. border with Mexico, long a cornerstone of the GOP frontrunner’s foreign policy.
“If you have time between bankruptcy filings and editing reality show contracts, we urge you to flip through the Supreme Court’s decision in New York Times v. Sullivan,” he wrote. “If your client is so thin-skinned that he cannot handle his critics’ presentation of his own public statements, policies and record to the voting public, and if such communications hurts his feelings, he is welcome to purchase airtime to defend his record. After all, a wall can be built around many things, but not around the First Amendment.”
Read the full response here.