About That $10K Check Trump Sent To An Illinois Volunteer

By Stephen Gossett in News on Jan 31, 2017 9:02PM

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Getty Images / Photo: Chip Somodevilla

President Donald Trump sent a $10,000 check to an Illinois man who had previously volunteered for his campaign, according to the Washington Post.

The president met Shane Bouvet, a 24-year-old courier for FedEx from the rural mid-state town of Stonington, IL, near the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. the night before Trump’s inauguration. Trump thanked him for his work, “hugged him and then promised him an extraordinary thank you: a $10,000 check,” the Post reports.

Trump had apparently read about Bouvet in an earlier, feel-good Post profile, which describes how Bouvet worked nights and organized for Trump during the day, eventually working his way up the ranks to become the campaign’s volunteer social media coordinator in the state.

Along with a note from Trump that read, “Shane — You are a great guy — thanks for all of your help,” the promised $10,000 gift did indeed arrive for Shane—and perhaps with it, some ethical questions, depending on whether Bouvet was compensated through the campaign or from Trump directly.

The Federal Election Commission “can't comment on specific candidates or committees,” an FEC press officer told Chicagoist by email.

But “…disbursements made from a campaign account of a federal candidate committee should be reported on a committee's subsequent FEC report.” Since the money was given this month, it should be disclosed in a future report from the committee due in to the FEC by mid-April. “However, monies spent outside of the committee that are not related to campaign activity are not required to be disclosed to the FEC.” It certainly would appear that the money was “related to campaign activity” given Bouvet’s work, but the direct source of payment—personal or campaign—isn’t yet clear. The White House did not immediately return a request for comment.

Richard L. Hasen, a professor of law and political science at the University of California, Irvine said it would be "quite unusual" for the president to use personal funds in such a case since there would be no potential violations simply by paying from campaign dollars.

According to the Post, Bouvet is using the money to pay for his father’s chemotherapy bills. Hopefully Trump shares with the rest of us after the ACA is repealed.