Former President Donald Trump’s political operation and Republican Party committees have paid over $12.6 million to individuals and firms that organized the Jan. 6, 2021, rally that preceded the deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol since the start of the 2020 election, a new OpenSecrets analysis found.
The full amount of payments from Trump campaign political operations to rally planners during the 2020 elections and around the rally in the early 2021 remain a mystery. mystery because the campaign’s top vendor was American Made Media Consultants LLCA firm that was created by Trump campaign aides to serve as a clearinghouse for the spending. Trump’s campaign and joint fundraising committee routed more than $771 million through the firm, hiding details of those payments — Include information about the identities of people who were paid for the campaign and how much they received.
The Federal Election Commission recently deadlocked on whether to investigate allegations that Trump’s campaign routed funds through American Made Media Consultants LLC and a closely-tied corporate entity to conceal details of the 2020 presidential campaign’s spending.
“We found evidence that the Trump campaign and its surrogates misled donors about what those funds would be used for,” Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D.Calif.) stated during the second hearing Select Committee to Investigate the Jan. 6 Attack on the United States Capital on Monday, “Those donors deserve the truth about what those funds will be used for.”
Information on Trump’s role in the events on Jan. 6 is obfuscated but the former president’s connections to organizers of the rally before the deadly attack on the Capitol are well-documented in campaign finance filings.
Although firms and consultants involved in the rally are now under scrutiny in conservative circles, a contingent associated with Trump and the Republican Party continue their leadership of millions. Jan. 6 rally organizers During the 2022 election cycle.
Trump’s political operation alone has reported paying more than $13.4 million to people and firms who helped organize the Jan. 6 rally with about $10.6 million of those payments occurring since the start of the 2020 cycle — In the weeks leading up Jan. 6, 2021, this includes.
Groups in Trump’s political operation that have paid Jan. 6 rally organizers include the Save America The Save America PAC is the leadership PAC. Make America Great Again Action super PAC, Make America Great Again, Again! Inc. super PAC, Trump’s campaign and Trump Victory.
Event Strategies Inc. Continues to Receive Money
In 2022, political committees tied to Trump routed more payments than ever to one firm involved in the Jan. 6 rally — Event Strategies Inc.The firm was named in a permit for the rally It also employed two people involved in the demonstration.
Event Strategies Inc. was helmed by Tim Unes and Justin Caporale, Trump campaign aides who were listed on permit records as the Jan. 6 rally’s stage and production managers.
Unes was reportedly brought to Trump’s campaign by Paul Manafort, who served as the campaign chair. Manafort was previously worked With Unes and Event Strategies Inc. Ukrainian politician Viktor Yanukovych
Trump’s political operation and Republican Party committees paid individuals and firms involved in organizing the Jan. 6 rally just over $3.5 million during the 2020 cycle and $2.5 million in 2021.
However, groups aligned to Trump have made more payments to Event Strategies Inc. each year since the start in 2020 of the election cycle. Event Strategies Inc. paid nearly $4.5 million to Event Strategies Inc. within the first four months 2022. In total, the firm has raked in more than $6.9 million since Election Day 2020 from Trump’s political operation and Republican Party committees.
Event Strategies Inc. continues to draw the biggest payments in 2022 for political work from Trump’s political operation with more than $3.2 million from Save America, Trump’s leadership PAC, and another $705,000 from Make America Great Again, Again! Inc.
Trump’s campaign, the RNC Republican Party committees responsible for presidential arrangements for the 2016 Republican National Convention —where Trump was nominated as the GOP’s candidate for president —Event Strategies Inc. paid more than $1.2 million in collective payments during the 2016 election cycle.
America First Policies, a “dark money” group aligned with Trump that recently rebrAnded as America First Works, paid Event Strategies Inc. another $2.1 million in 2018 and 2019OpenSecrets has reviewed tax records.
Since 2016, groups aligned to Trump and the Republican Party paid Jan. 6 rally organizers more than $14.2 million, with approximately $12.4 million going to Event Strategies Inc.
In addition to the Trump political operation’s payments to Event Strategies Inc., Trump’s campaign paid Caporale was paid nearly $158,000 to serve as its advance director for the year leading up to November 2020. Unes, Caporale’s business partner, was paid Additional $117,000.
Event Strategies Inc. is still paying a small number of political committees. However, the firm has become controversial among conservatives as well as its partners. In December 2021, Elizabeth Dole Foundation terminated Event Strategies Inc. partner Tim Unes’ from his role in helping plan former Sen. Bob Dole’s funeral After learning about his connections to Jan. 6 rally.
Trump’s political operation has made up the bulk of payments to Event Strategies Inc. documented in 2022 election campaign finance filings but the firm has also received funding from other Republican Party committees with the National Republican Congressional Committee paying over $500,000 to Event Strategies Inc. in early 2022.
While Event Strategies Inc. was the only firm named in the National Park Services’ permit for the Jan. 6 rally, it is not the only firm affiliated with Jan. 6 rally organizers.
BlueBonnet Fundraising is a firm founded by Caroline Wren, a top fundraiser for Trump’s campaign who was listed as a “VIP Advisor” on the permit granted by the National Park Service For the Jan. 6, rally. Wren reportedly She boasted that she had raised $3 million for the Capitol riot protest. She then “parked” funds with two dark money groups that helped organize the protest and a closely-tied super PAC.
Trump Victory paid BlueBonnet Fundraising $590,000.
Trump Campaign used Election Fraud Claims to Fundraise
House select committee Senior Investigative Counsel Amanda Wick’s video presentation in the second hearing highlighted how the Trump campaign “used fundraising schemes as part of the efforts to disseminate false claims of election fraud.”
“”The evidence developed by the Select Committee highlights how the Trump campaign aggressively pushed false election claims to fundraise, telling supporters it would be used to fight voter fraud that did not exist,” Wick said The presentation.
The campaign “continued to barrage small-dollar donors with emails” after Election Day, Wick stated, noting the campaign sent “millions of fundraising emails to Trump supporters” encouraging supporters to “step up” and “fight back.”
“Emails continued through Jan. 6, even as President Trump spoke on The Ellipse,” Wick noted, explaining that “30 minutes after the last fundraising email was sent, the Capitol was breached.”
The fundraising emails didn’t just feature calls for action, they also enticed supporters to donate, often targeting small-dollar donors.
Trump’s campaign raised $250 million after the election, Wick noted.
Leadership PAC Save America paid millions to Trump-aligned organizations, including the aforementioned payments made to Event Strategies Inc., and a $1,000,000 contribution to the America First Policy Institute. This 501(c),(3) nonprofit is affiliated with America First Policies, which was founded by former Trump officials.
“Evidence collected by the select committee highlights how they pushed false election claims to fundraise, telling voters it would be used to fight voter fraud that did not exist,” Wick announced.
Small dollar donors use scarce disposable income to support candidates and causes of their choosing, to make their voices heard,” Lofgren elaborated.
But the campaign “continued to barrage small-dollar donors with emails” after Election Day, Wick explained, sending “millions of fundraising emails to Trump supporters” encouraging supporters to “step up” and “fight back.”
“Emails continued through Jan. 6, even as President Trump spoke on the ellipse,” Wick noted, explaining that “30 minutes after the last fundraising email was sent, the Capitol was raided.
During the 2022 election cycle, other political groups have paid Wren’s fundraising firm more than $318,000.
Save the U.S. Senate PAC, a super PAC launched by Donald Trump Jr.’s advisers ahead of Georgia’s Jan. 5 Senate runoffs — This occurred one day before the Capitol attack — BlueBonnet Fundraising reported that it paid $86,800 to BlueBonnet Fundraising on Jan. 23, 2021. The ads featuring Trump Jr. were aimed at mobilizing Trump supporters across Georgia and cost $1.2 million.
Trump has yet to endorse any of the 2022 federal candidates paying BlueBonnet Fundraising though they have each have stated support for Trump’s ideas or vied for Trump’s endorsement ahead of 2022 elections.
Mick McGuire, a Republican challenger in Arizona’s Senate race His statement: support for Trump’s ideas, started paying BlueBonnet Fundraising in November 2021. McGuire’s campaign paid the fundraising firm over $24,000 with payments into at least January 2022 but Trump ultimately endorsed McGuire’s Republican primary opponent Blake Masters after Masters received significant support from billionaire tech investor Peter Thiel, who exited Facebook-parent company Meta’s board earlier this year to support Masters and other Trump-aligned candidates In the 2022 midterms.
BlueBonnet Fundraising was also paid by the Missouri Senate Campaign of Rep. Billy Long (R-Mo.) — Who has received praise but no endorsement Trump — and the short-lived Senate campaign of Linda Blanchard, Trump’s nominee for U.S. ambassador to Slovenia who switched to the state’s gubernatorial election after Trump endorsed her opponent in the Senate Republican primary. Blanchard spent millions of dollars self-funding her campaign. lost Go to Gov. Kay Ivey in Alabama’s Republican gubernatorial primary.
Influence of Groups, Fuelled by Secret Donors behind the Jan. 6 Rally 2022
Dark money groups that organized the Jan. 6 rally prior to the Capital attack were also active in politics.
Some of these groups sponsored CPAC Others have already begun to look at 2022 midterm elections in February, while others are still waiting.
Women for America First, the 501(c)(4) nonprofit dark money group that submitted the rally’s permit records The National Park Service has continued to spend on digital advertising and organizing events well into 2022.
Women for America First does NOT disclose its donors. However, America First Policies, a Trump-aligned dark capital group that has paid millions of dollars to Event Strategies Inc., revealed that it gave the group $25,000 in its financial disclosures tax return Coverage for 2019.
Women for America First paid for Facebook ads until 2022. However, all of their ads from 2020 are emblazoned in a warning that Facebook “took down this ad after it started running because the disclaimer doesn’t follow our Advertising Policies.”
That didn’t stop those ads from reaching tens of thousands of Facebook users, according to Facebook ad data.
The dark money group’s most recent Facebook ads have promoted events it has hosted.
Women for America First paid for an account on Facebook in January. ad promoting a Jan. 24 event called ”BBQ, Boots & Bullets with U.S. Senate Candidate Herschel Walker,” who went on to win Georgia’s Republican primary May Tickets for the dinner start at $50, with sponsorship opportunities as high as $3,000. The $3,000 “America First Sponsorship” included eight tickets for shooting on the range and perks including recognition on signage, a table placard, acknowledgement from the podium and social media.
“This is NOT a fundraiser for Women for America First or for any political campaign. This is an event hosted by Women for America First with guest speakers,” a disclaimer on the event page notes, describing Walker as a “special guest.”
Women for America First also paid for Facebook advertising promoting a “VIP red carpet” event and screening of “Capitol Punishment,” a film described as a “MOVIE THAT REVEALS WHAT REALLY HAPPENED” on Jan. 6.
The screening in Irving, Texas, was scheduled for Jan. 4, 2021, with “special guests” including Ashli Babbitt’s husband and mother.
Tickets for the movie start at $30. VIP tickets for the reception start at $150. Sponsorship packages are available up to $3,000.
Other advertised guests at the screening included Couy Griffin, New Mexico founder of “Cowboys for Trump” who was found March, guilty on one federal count of entering into restricted areas related to storming Capitol on Jan. 6.
June 17, 2022: This article has now been corrected to reflect that BlueBonnet’s fundraising received more than $318,000 and not $318 million.