In the complaint to the FEC and the letter to the FBI, the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington said Crossroads GPS violated federal election law by failing to disclose the identities of contributors, as mentioned by Crossroads head Karl Rove, who donated $6 million specifically to fund independent expenditures in the Ohio Senate race.
CREW said Crossroads GPS also broke the law by soliciting donations to be spent on the Virginia, Montana and Nevada Senate races, but failed to disclose the donors.
"Karl Rove and Crossroads GPS didn't just skirt around the edges of the law. This time it appears they jumped headlong into a criminal conspiracy," CREW Executive Director Melanie Sloan said Thursday in a release.
Federal law requires groups such as Crossroads GPS to disclose sources of its money to the FEC if the donors earmarked their funds for specific advertisements.
CREW said during an August fundraiser, Rove said an anonymous donor gave Crossroads GPS $3 million specifically for the Ohio Senate race, telling Rove it was a "matching challenge" dependent on the group raising another $3 million for the race. Crossroads GPS spent $6.36 million on independent expenditures in the Ohio race, but did not disclose any donors in any of the reports filed with the FEC.
During the same event, CREW alleged, Crossroads GPS showed participants an ad it made for five other Senate races, after which former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour and Crossroads GPS President Steven Law asked donors for more money, which CREW said presumably was to fund the ads or others similar to them. Crossroads GPS spent $17.4 million in these races after the fundraiser, but did not disclose any donors in the reports it filed, CREW said.
Crossroads spokesman Jonathan Collegio called the effort an "average run-of-the mill CREW complaint," The Washington Post reported.
"CREW is a hyper-partisan, labor-funded front group that files frivolous complaints like this as part of its mission," Collegio said. "Crossroads is aware of the laws governing the groups and follows all of them closely."
CREW also has filed similar complaints against Democrats, some of which have been used in Crossroads GPS campaign literature, the Post said.