‘Beyond Disgraceful’: Zuckerberg Hit With Legal Complaints Alleging Malfeasance During 2020 Election
15:29 GMT 22.09.2022 (Updated: 18:21 GMT 03.11.2022)
© AP Photo / Steven SenneIn this May 25, 2017, file photo, Facebook CEO and Harvard dropout Mark Zuckerberg delivers the commencement address at Harvard University commencement exercises in Cambridge, Mass.
© AP Photo / Steven Senne
The Center for Renewing America (CRA), a conservative policy group headed by former senior Donald Trump administration official Russ Vought, claims Mark Zuckerberg and his wife concealed the political nature of their donations ahead of the 2020 presidential election, “shuffling” them through “charitable” intermediaries.
Mark Zuckerberg, his wife, and three voting rights groups have had legal complaints filed against them, alleging misconduct related to activities surrounding the 2020 presidential election, Fox Business has reported.
Two complaints were filed with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) against the chief executive of Meta* Platforms, formerly known as Facebook*, and his wife, Priscilla Chan, by the Center for Renewing America (CRA) nonprofit organization.
The CRA, headed by senior ex-Trump administration official Russ Vought, also filed a complaint against the groups Center for Tech and Civic Life (CTCL), Center for Election Innovation and Research (CEIR), and National Vote at Home Institute (NVAHI), according to the outlet.
The complaints accuse Zuckerberg and the three groups of being involved in a scheme to inject nearly $500 million into the 2020 election in order to ensure that Democrat Joe Biden defeated his rival, Republican Donald Trump. Biden ultimately defeated the 45th POTUS, who was seeking reelection, winning the key swing states of Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.
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The world’s 20th-richest person, boasting a personal fortune of $54.6bn, is accused of hiring former President Barack Obama’s campaign manager David Plouffe. The latter allegedly used the three tax-exempt voting rights groups to funnel a majority of the couple’s grants, worth hundreds of millions of dollars, to Democratic-leaning jurisdictions in swing states ahead of the November 2020 election.
"It is beyond disgraceful to imagine federal taxpayers subsidizing the partisan preferences of billionaires who easily could have given to a Democrat super PAC in 2020," the CRA said in a statement.
"But, of course, then they would not have been able to take a tax deduction, so they disguised the political nature of their donations and shuffled them through 'charitable' intermediaries, making ordinary Americans foot the bill," the CRA said.
Pointing to the fact that federal law prohibits individuals from making donations “illegitimately” to aid one political party over another, the CRA complaints urged the IRS to deny any personal income tax exemptions collected by Zuckerberg and Chan for their donations to CTCL, CEIR, and NVAHI during the 2020 election cycle. The IRS was also requested to terminate the tax exemptions of the three groups.
"We leave to the Service to determine whether there is enough evidence to sustain a criminal investigation into Chan or Zuckerberg for tax fraud," the CRA complaint concluded, claiming that an “unlawful taxpayer subsidy” had been run “to support Democrat electioneering purposes."
*Meta, Facebook are banned in Russia over extremist activities.