Details of the money behind the January 6 protests continue to emerge • OpenSecrets


(Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI / AFP via Getty Images)

New details on how a leading fundraiser for former President Donald Trump’s campaign ‘parked’ funds with groups that helped organize the January 6 rally ahead of the Capitol attack put shed light on the coordination between seemingly independent groups and the role of Trump campaign officials.

Caroline Wren, one of the top fundraisers for Trump’s campaign who was on the list of “VIP advisor” on the permit issued by the National Park Service for the January 6 rally, reportedly bragged about raising $ 3 million for the protest before the Capitol riot. She then ‘parked’ funds with two ‘black money’ groups that helped organize the protest and a closely related super PAC, ProPublica reported Last week.

“Parking” funds between several groups can give the impression of broader support from several independent organizations and make it more difficult to find the source of the funds.

The strategy “added a layer of confidentiality for the donor and offered institutional support to the 6th,” Dustin Stockton, a Republican agent who helped Women for America First organize the rally, tell ProPublica.

Earlier reports estimated the rally cost only around half a million dollars, mostly funded by a $ 300,000 donation from Publix supermarket heiress Julie Jenkins Fancelli to Women for America First, the group. 501 (c) (4) dark money non-profit which submitted the permit files to the National Park Service.

Women for America First co-founder Amy Kremer and her daughter have been subpoenaed by the United States House Special Committee to investigate the January 6 attack on the United States Capitol. They are program for depositions on October 29.

Stockton was also a spokesperson for WeBuildtheWall when former White House adviser Steve Bannon and three others affiliated with the Dark Money group were charged with fraud related to the 2020 online fundraising effort. Stockton has not been charged . The select committee investigating the January 6 attack found Bannon in contempt last week for refusing to comply with a subpoena.

Two of the other organizations that ProPublica reported helping to store funds for the rally, Rule of Law Trust and Turning Point, are black money groups that have been listed as organizers of the rally.

Tea Party Express is the only group nominated by ProPublica who was not listed as an organizer on the rally website.

Launched in 2010 as a project of the Political Action Committee Our Country Deserves Better PAC, Tea Party Express has gained national attention for its rallies and bus tours. But it was critical to hijack a large portion of its fundraising to consultants instead of supporting candidates.

Kermer, a longtime political organizer, was Tea Party Express’ chair from 2009 to 2014.

One of the black money groups that allegedly parked funds and helped promote the rally, the Rule of Law Fund, is the 501 (c) (4) affiliated with the Republican Attorneys General Association.

At least $ 150,000 of the Rule of Law Fund money for the rally is believed to have come from Fancelli in a Dec. 29 donation just over a week before the rally, according to records reviewed by the Washington post.

Other rule of law fund donors included opaque nonprofits such as the Koch Network’s Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce, the Edison Electric Institute, Empowering Ohio’s Economy and the Alliance defending freedom.

Turning Point, the other organization that parked funds and helped organize the rally, is best known for its conservative youth engagement efforts and digital operations, which were used to promote the rally.

The operation’s flagship nonprofit, Turning Point USA, said it raised more than $ 39.2 million from undisclosed donors in its last fiscal year from July 2019 to the end of June 2020, according to new tax cases obtained by OpenSecrets.

Tax records show how Turning Point’s operations continued to grow in the run-up to the 2020 election and the aftermath.

Turning Point USA grossed $ 4.3 million and its chairman, Charlie Kirk, said it only earned $ 27,231 for 65-hour weeks, according to the organizations’ 2016 tax records.

Speak 2018-2019 fiscal year, Kirk’s salary rose to $ 292,423 as his annual turnover rose to $ 28.5 million, with an anonymous donation of $ 6.2 million and multiple additional contributions of over $ 1 million . Turning Point Action attracted over $ 1.1 million from July 2018 to the end of June 2019.

In the Fiscal year 2019-2020, Kirk has earned over $ 329,000 in Turning Point affiliates.

The scope and reach of the Turning Point influence operation also increased under the Trump administration.

The organization’s digital operations came under intense media scrutiny in 2020 when social media platforms removed hundreds of accounts managed by Rally Forge LLC after reporting that teens were paid to post. thousands of coordinated posts, giving the appearance of basic organic support for Trump-boosting posts as well as unfounded information. on coronavirus, voting and other topics.

Turning Point USA paid approx. $ 500,000 to Rally Forge LLC during his last fiscal year.

Turning Point United States and Decisive action, Turning Point branch 501 (c) (4) which was officially listed as an organizer on the rally website, collectively paid another $ 1 million to Rally Forge LLC disclosed in their 2018-2019 tax returns obtained by OpenSecrets.

Turning Point received more than $ 1 million from the family foundation of Republican mega-donor Richard Uihlein, including $ 250,000 in 2019.

Uihlein was also a major donor to other groups affiliated with the rally organizers. He contributed the Women for Trump Hybrid PAC affiliated with Women for America First, and Uilehin was the top election donor for 2020 to the Tea Party Patriots-affiliated super PAC, another rally organizer. Uihlein has given the Tea Party Patriots super PAC around $ 4.3 million since the 2016 election.

The Judicial Crisis Network, a black money group now legally named the Concord Fund, also contributed to several groups involved in the rally. The black money group gave at least $ 4.7 million to the Tea Party Patriots, $ 50,000 to Turning Point Action and $ 1.9 million to the Rule of Law Defense Fund from 2013 to 2019, according to Examination by OpenSecrets of its tax files. And he gave millions more to the affiliated Association of Attorneys General of the Republic.

The role of Trump campaign officials in organizing the January 6 protests only adds to the opacity.

Wren earned at least $ 170,000 from Trump’s political operation during the 2020 election cycle for her work as the campaign’s national finance consultant to the joint fundraising committee. In total, Trump’s political operation said it has paid more than $ 4.3 million to the people and businesses who staged the Jan.6 rally since the start of the 2020 election.

Megan Powers, Justin Caporale, Maggie Mulvaney, Tim Unes and Wren – the rally organizers who were paid for by Trump’s political operation – have all been subpoenaed by the House select committee.

Trump’s 2020 campaign and joint fundraising committee, the Trump Make America Great Again Committee, funneled an additional $ 771 million in payments through American Made Media Consultants LLC during the 2020 election cycle. joint fund directed about $ 685,000 through the LLC in 2021, of which about a third was texted on Jan.6.

But because the Trump campaign has not disclosed details of payments made by AMMC LLC to contractors, the full list of people working for Trump’s campaign and the amount of money that changed hands remains withheld from the public.

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Anna massoglia

Anna is the OpenSecrets researcher-investigator. She researches foreign influence as part of the Foreign Lobby Watch Project, tracks political advertising data and investigates “black money.” She holds degrees in political science and psychology from North Carolina State University and a JD from District University of Columbia Law School.


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