Following a bogus filing stating former Vice President Mike Pence was running for president in 2024, the Federal Election Commission has served notice to whoever filed a presidential campaign as “Walter Hartwell White Sr.” of Albuquerque, New Mexico — and warned them that they are flirting with federal law by fraudulently posing as a character from the popular “Breaking Bad” television show.
In December, a Pence spokesperson had to knock down stories that Donald Trump’s former running mate was jumping into the 2024 fray after a screenshot of the FEC documents went viral on Twitter.
As USA Today reported at the time, “The screenshot of the FEC filing, which appears to be fake, was filed under ‘Mike Richard Pence’ and included a post office box address from Anderson, Indiana. Pence’s full first name is ‘Michael.’ The address has been used by Pence in past filings.”
Now comes the filing by Walter White, with erstwhile attorney Saul Goodman — of “Better Call Saul” — as his running mate, and the FEC has issued a demand for more information that contains a warning any falsehoods could result in criminal charges.
The Jan. 15 filing (see here) names the committee behind the White run as “Heisenberg For President” with an FEC candidate filing number P40010480.
The Jan. 18 return FEC letter (see here) states: “The Commission requires the filing to be true, correct, and complete. When you filed FEC Form 2, you made the following certification: ‘I certify that I have examined this Statement and to the best of my knowledge and belief it is true, correct and complete.’ The Commission also informed you on that form that: ‘Submission of false, erroneous, or incomplete information may subject the person signing this Statement to the penalties of 52 U.S.C. § 30109.'”
The letter added, “Additionally, knowingly and willfully making any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation to a federal government agency, including the Federal Election Commission, is punishable under the provisions of 18 U.S.C. § 1001. The Commission is authorized to report apparent violations to the appropriate law enforcement authorities. 52 U.S.C. § 30107(a)(9).”
Given a deadline of Feb. 23 to respond to the FEC’s questions, the letter goes onto warn, “Please note that in removing the filing from the Commission’s searchable database, the Commission is not waiving its authority to pursue or refer an action for false filing under 52 U.S.C. § 30109(a) or otherwise to report such filings under 52 U.S.C. § 30107(a)(9), if it decides to do so.”