Dems blame 'reporting error' after records show refund to Weinstein despite charity pledge

In the aftermath of the Harvey Weinstein exposé, House Democrats' campaign arm promised to give every penny the disgraced movie mogul donated to the group — over $23,000 — to a women’s charity.

But Fox News viewed FEC filings from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) and found that the money intended for charity was actually earmarked as a refund to Weinstein, an issue the DCCC labeled a “reporting error.” 

Weinstein FEC

The DCCC filing record showing a refund to Harvey Weinstein as of Monday morning.  (Federal Election Commission)

The Democratic group has since worked to clean up the paperwork to prove it indeed followed through on its October pledge. A women's charity has confirmed that it received the donation. 

But the group’s 2017 filings with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) strikingly showed, as of Monday morning, that the DCCC refunded the figure to Weinstein rather than honoring the pledge. The reports submitted to the FEC by the party showed a refund to the movie mogul of $23,225.

A senior DCCC official denied that the money went back to Weinstein, saying the check was in fact written for the women’s group.

“We were all very surprised by it,” the official said. “We basically didn’t show our work. The money moved exactly as we said it would, only to a charity and not Weinstein.”

Futures Without Violence FEC

Updated FEC filing by the DCCC reflecting the donation to Futures Without Violence.  (Federal Election Commission)

The FEC requires all political groups to file original donor information when making donations to charities in lieu of refunding the donor, yet in this instance the records reflected Weinstein as the sole recipient of the money.

The DCCC provided a check and a letter sent by the charity acknowledging the donation. A spokeswoman for Futures Without Violence confirmed the receipt of the donation.

The official blamed a “reporting error” for the confusion and began updating the FEC reports following Fox News' questions to reflect that no money was refunded to Weinstein.

The new updated reports now mention the donation to the women’s group with a note that the contribution was “made in lieu of refund to original donor Harvey Weinstein.”

The refund to Weinstein now specifies that it has a “memo item” attached, meaning his information is tied to another line in the reports – in this case the donation to the women’s charity.

Lukas Mikelionis is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @LukasMikelionis.