An investigation may land comedian and actress Rosie O’Donnell in hot water after it was revealed that she repeatedly exceeded the limits set by the Federal Election Commission (FEC) for campaign contributions. The law restricts donations to $2,700, but O’Donnell went over that number while making contributions to at level five Democratic candidates.
O’Donnell is claiming that “nothing nefarious” took place when she made the donations, according to a report by the Daily Mail.
“I was not choosing to over donate,” she said. “If $2,700 is the cut off – [candidates] should refund the money.”
“I don’t look to see who I can donate most to,” O’Donnell added. “I just donate assuming they do not accept what is over the limit.”
O’Donnell was making donations through ActBlue, an online liberal fundraising platform, in an effort to fight against policies the Trump administration chose to pursue.
Campaign contributions limits are applied separately to each phase of the election process, including primaries, runoffs, and general elections.
“My anxiety is quelled by donating to those opposing [President Donald] Trump [and] his agenda, especially at night, when most of these were placed,” said O’Donnell.
The investigation of O’Donnell’s contributions showed she donated $4,700 to Alabama Sen. Doug Jones during last year’s special election, where he faced off against Roy Moore, a controversial Republican figure.
O’Donnell also contributed $3,600 to Pennsylvania Rep. Conor Lamb during his March run, where he upset the Republican favorite during the special election.
Illinois congressional candidate Lauren Underwood reported receiving $4,200 from O’Donnell while Rep. Adam Schiff reported $2,950 in contributions for a primary race. Omar Vaid, a congressional candidate in New York, reported that he received $3,450 during his primary run.
It was also discovered that O’Donnell used five different addresses, all based in New York, while making the contributions. She also used multiple variations of her name.
O’Donnell stated that she assumed ActBlue would automatically limit “donations to the max allowed” and that anything over that amount would be refunded.
While O’Donnell did violate FEC restrictions, she may not suffer any significant consequences.
“Donors are rarely fined for excess contributions and then only if they are hiding the donations from the recipients,” said Jan Witold Baran, a campaign finance attorney.
“Campaigns generally are not penalized for isolated contributions over a limit. However, multiple excessive donations may lead to an investigation… Fines could result in such cases.”