In a federal election complaint filed on Friday, the Democratic National Committee accused Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and a super PAC backing his independent presidential bid of illegally coordinating on a $15 million petition drive intended to qualify him for the ballot in several states that could be crucial to President Biden’s re-election prospects.
The 11-page complaint to the Federal Election Commission described the arrangement as an in-kind contribution to Mr. Kennedy’s campaign by the super PAC, American Values 2024, one that violated federal campaign finance laws and breached long-established financial barriers between candidates and outside groups.
“This is an effort to subvert our election laws and prop up a stalking horse in R.F.K. Jr.,” Lis Smith, a senior adviser to the D.N.C., said during a Zoom call with reporters.
Mr. Kennedy, the scion of a liberal political dynasty and an environmental lawyer who has become better known for his anti-vaccine activism and promotion of conspiracy theories, joined the race last spring as a challenger for the Democratic nomination against Mr. Biden, but he abandoned the long-shot path in the fall to run as an independent.
Tony Lyons, the co-chairman of American Values 2024, dismissed the allegations that the group had broken the law.
“The Biden administration and the D.N.C. clearly find democracy inconvenient, want to stifle any dissenting opinions and don’t believe that their candidate can win a free, open and fair election,” Mr. Lyons said in a statement on Friday.