This is not necessarily illegal, but it could be.
That describes most of the Trump campaign.
Trump's most recent FEC disclosure revealed that Trump has used campaign funds to buy over 5,000 copies of his latest book. And while it's fairly normal for think tanks and non-profits to buy copies of a book in bulk, a practice that has boosted many stinkers onto the best-seller list, it's not normal for a campaign to buy mass quantities of a book sold under the nominee's name.
A spokesperson for the Republican nominee told The Daily Beast the books were purchased “as part of gifting at the convention, which we have to do.” Sure enough, delegates in attendance at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland in July were given canvas tote bags, stamped with the Trump slogan, and filled with copies of Crippled America, as well as Kleenex and Make America Great Again! cups, hats, and T-shirts. Delegates were also given plastic fetus figurines.
For this to be legal, Trump must forgo all royalties from sales of the book purchased by his campaign.
It remains to be seen if he'll do that, but this is barely even a fly on the tip of the iceberg of Trump's grifting operation. Trump's campaign is renting and using Trump properties, Trump services, and Trump vendors. The entire campaign is funneling money toward his business entities. Trump's campaign has even paid out hefty sums to his Mar-a-Lago resort in Miami. How can we believe that he is not pocketing any of that? Is that even possible?
It could be years before we know the full extent of Trump's scampaign.