(CN) - A nonpartisan group of election law experts on Wednesday accused the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign of violating federal financial disclosure laws to hide payments for a dossier that alleged connections between then-candidate Donald Trump and Russia.
In a complaint filed with the Federal Election Commission, the Campaign Legal Center says the Clinton campaign and DNC failed to file accurate records in violation of both commission regulations and the Federal Election Campaign Act.
"Specifically, the DNC and Hillary for America reported dozens of payments totaling millions of dollars to the law firm Perkins Coie with the purpose described as "Legal Services" or "Legal and Compliance Consulting," when in reality, at least some of those payments were earmarked for the firm Fusion GPS, with the purpose of conducting opposition research in Donald Trump," the complaint says.
"By failing to file accurate reports, the DNC and Hillary for America undermined the viral public information role that reporting is intended to serve," the complaint says.
In a written statement, Adav Noti, a senior director of the Campaign Legal Center said the alleged acts of the Democrats and the Clinton campaign "undermined the vital public information role of campaign disclosures.”
"Voters need campaign disclosure laws to be enforced so they can hold candidates accountable for how they raise and spend money. The FEC must investigate this apparent violation and take appropriate action,” Noti said.
Neither Hillary Clinton nor the DNC responded to a request for comment on Wednesday afternoon.
Graham M. Wilson, a partner at Perkins Coie, said in a written statement that “Hillary for America and the DNC complied with all campaign finance laws, including their obligations to appropriately report and describe the purpose of all of their expenditures.
"This research work was to support the provision of legal services, and payments made by vendors to sub-vendors are not required to be disclosed in circumstances like this. This complaint fails to even note the Federal Election Commission's affirmation in 2013 of the relevant rule, notes no authority to the contrary, and is patently baseless," Wilson said.
That didn't stop President Donald Trump from claiming Wednesday that Clinton's campaign paid nearly $6 million for the dossier alleging ties between the Trump campaign and Russia.
In an interview set to air Wednesday night on Fox Business Network's "Lou Dobbs Tonight," Trump ripped the dossier as "a total phony" and "disgraceful," alleging that the Clinton campaign spent almost $6 million to fund the research.
"Don’t forget Hillary Clinton totally denied this. She didn’t know anything. She knew nothing," the president said. "All of a sudden they found out. What I was amazed at, it’s almost $6 million that they paid and it’s totally discredited, it’s a total phony. I call it fake news. It’s disgraceful. It’s disgraceful."
The Washington Post broke the story Tuesday, reporting that both the Clinton campaign and the DNC funded the research contained in the dossier, which alleges coordination between members of Trump's presidential campaign and Russia.
The Post said the campaign paid Perkins Coie $5.6 million between June 2015 and December 2016, and that Marc Elias, a lawyer representing both the Clinton campaign and the DNC, retained Fusion GPS's services in April 2016.