The action led Cruz to respond “Is that still a thing?”
Okay, that’s not what he really said, but he couldn’t be blamed for thinking it. If you listen close, you can almost hear Heidi in the background, saying, “Are they still talking about that?”
The audit report is related to what Cruz has long claimed to be a simple reporting error and that the mistake was not – as some have speculated – an effort to hide anything. The fact that the loans were revealed in other documents filed by Cruz seems to back up that position.
“This is old news-simply the conclusion of the same inadvertent reporting error that was widely reported during the presidential campaign,” Cruz spokeswoman Catherine Frazier told Fox News. “Our campaign has been working with the FEC, in a process that actually started several years ago, to determine what amendments should be made to our campaign finance reports from the 2011-12 election cycle.”
Frazier added: “These loans have been properly disclosed on the Senator’s public financial disclosure forms since day one, and we will now begin the process of amending how they are reported on the FEC reports now that the audit process has concluded.”
Now that the audit report has been filed and approved, the FEC will write up and submit its final report in a few weeks. It is possible that the panel could impose a fine or take further action once that report is complete.
Cruz addressed the discrepancy last year after it came to light in the heat of the 2016 GOP Presidential Primary race.
“We had a brokerage account that has a standard margin loan like any brokerage account has, and we borrowed against the stocks and assets that we had under ordinary terms,” he said. “And so those loans had been disclosed over and over and over again on multiple filings. If it was the case that they were not filed exactly as the FEC requires, then we’ll amend the filings, but all of the information has been public and transparent for many years.”
When pressed on the matter, Cruz added, “Our finances are not complicated. We put in the entirety of our savings, we did so through a combination of savings accounts and selling assets and taking a margin loan against other assets, and those facts are clear and transparent. And a technical and inadvertent filing error does not change that at all.”
The fact that Cruz has been transparent about the reporting error all along has likely reduced this smoking gun to nothing more damaging than a Nerf dart. But you can be sure that Democrat Beto O’Rourke will play it for all he can in his effort to unseat Cruz next fall – and the MSM will be more than happy to help him try to turn this mole hill into a mountain.