By Andrew Kerr
The Clinton campaign’s rent payments to ZFS vary greatly…
“I would think that’s not usual,” [former FEC chairman and founder of the Institute for Free Speech Brad] Smith told TheDCNF. “That would be something that would cast out as to whether they’re actually paying market value.”
A possible explanation is that ZFS is extending credit to the Clinton campaign. If that were the case, however, that could open up the Clinton campaign to reporting violations, according to Smith.
“You can’t extend credit to a campaign on different terms than you would anybody else,” Smith said. “A landlord can’t say, ‘well, you just pay me what rent you can when you can’ – no, you can’t do that.”
Smith said the varying nature of the campaign’s payments ZFS lead him to believe there likely isn’t a formal sublease agreement in place between it and Clinton’s LLC.
“That’s what it sounds like, they don’t have any actual agreement,” he said…
“The bottom line is that there’s a bunch of Clinton affiliated organizations that are renting space up there, and it doesn’t seem like there’s much really going on,” Smith told TheDCNF. “Rental payments all go to Hillary Clinton through her LLC.”
“Obviously, it has a certain fishiness to it,” he added. “If they are charging market rates, there’s probably nothing illegal per se about doing business with your own company charging market rates.”