A Republican donor in Virginia has filed a lawsuit against the national and Virginia Republican parties, accusing them of fraud and racketeering for raising millions of dollars in donations knowing they wouldn’t be able to repeal ObamaCare.
The Virginian-Pilot reports that Bob Heghmann, a retired attorney in Virginia Beach, filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court on Thursday. The suit blasts the Republican Party, saying it “has been engaged in a pattern of Racketeering which involves massive fraud perpetrated on Republican voters and contributors as well as some Independents and Democrats.”
The lawsuit’s defendants include the Republican National Committee (RNC) and the Republican Party of Virginia, as well as Virginia’s two members of the RNC and the chairman of the state Republican Party, John Whitbeck.
As part of his suit, Heghmann argues that the Republican Party does not hold the same protection that members of Congress have against being sued for failing to fulfill campaign promises. He wants the GOP to either threaten to withhold money from members of Congress if they don’t repeal ObamaCare, or return contributions to donors.
“If the candidates don’t deliver, it’s incumbent on the RNC to go to the candidate and say, ‘You can’t do this,’ ” Heghmann said, according to the Pilot.
Heghmann’s suit alleges that both the national and state GOP raised millions of dollars from 2009 to 2016 by promising to repeal ObamaCare, but that Republicans knew they would be unable to repeal the law when former President Obama won reelection in 2012.
The suit references comments made by former Speaker of the House John BoehnerJohn BoehnerBoehner on Trump tweets: He gets ‘into a pissing match with a skunk’ every day Boehner predicts GOP will ‘never’ repeal, replace ObamaCare Sudan sanctions spur intense lobbying MORE (R-Ohio) when he said it was “clear … [that] ObamaCare is the law of the land” following Obama’s reelection.
“In making this statement Speaker John BoehnerJohn BoehnerBoehner on Trump tweets: He gets ‘into a pissing match with a skunk’ every day Boehner predicts GOP will ‘never’ repeal, replace ObamaCare Sudan sanctions spur intense lobbying MORE was sending a message to House Republicans and others that Repeal was not going to happen. He was trying to put the issue to rest. … Nevertheless, the Republican Party continued to use the mails, wires and interstate commerce to solicit donations and votes to secure House and Senate majorities and ultimately the Presidency,” the lawsuit states, according to the Pilot.
It also accuses the national and state Republican parties of “never intend[ing] to implement the Trump Agenda or fulfill the promises of the Republican Platform” as it campaigned for President Trump’s election.
Senate Republicans’ bill to repeal ObamaCare failed last week after three Republicans broke with their party to oppose it. After the vote, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellOvernight Finance: Trump signs Russia sanctions bill, rips Congress | Trump plan would cut legal immigration | Senate confirms labor board pick | House Budget chair running for governor | Regulator takes step to change ‘Volcker Rule’ House Dem on Statue of Liberty: ‘She persisted’ Senate GOP eyes end to August session MORE (R-Ky.) said, “It is time to move on.”
“What we tried to accomplish for the American people was the right thing for the country,” McConnell said. “I think the American people are going to regret that we couldn’t find another way forward.”