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Analysis reveals Trump operation paid $3.5m to organizers of the rally that led to deadly capitol attack

February 11, 2021 in Blogs

By Common Dreams

A new political spending analysis released Wednesday shows that former President Donald Trump’s 2020 campaign and its joint fundraising committees paid more than $3.5 million to the individuals and firms involved in organizing the January 6 “Stop the Steal” rally that presaged the deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Investigators at OpenSecrets, a project of the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics that examines how money influences U.S. elections and public policy, analyzed recent Federal Election Commission (FEC) filings and found “newly identified payments… [that] show people involved in organizing the protests on January 6 received even larger sums from Trump’s 2020 campaign than previously known.”

The findings come in the midst of the Senate impeachment trial that will determine whether or not Trump will be convicted for inciting the violent insurrection carried out by a mob of his supporters.

Anna Massoglia, one of the campaign finance researchers who unearthed more than $3.5 million in direct payments from the then-president’s political operation to the January 6 organizers, wrote that there are “unanswered questions about the full extent of [Trump's] ties” to the incendiary demonstration that preceded the pro-Trump mob’s invasion of the halls of Congress.

“Recent FEC filings show at least three individuals listed on permit records for the Washington, D.C. demonstration were on the Trump campaign’s payroll through November 30, 2020,” Massoglia noted. “The Trump campaign paid Event Strategies Inc., a firm named in a permit for the rally that also employed two individuals involved in the demonstration, as recently as December 15, just three weeks before the attacks on the U.S. Capitol.”

And yet, “because the campaign used an opaque payment scheme that concealed details of hundreds of millions of dollars in spending by routing payments through shell companies where the ultimate payee is hidden,” Massoglia wrote, “the American public may never know the full extent of the Trump campaign’s payments to organizers involved in the protests.”

The permit for the so-called “Save America Rally,” hosted by a pro-Trump nonprofit group called Women for America First, “did not explicitly allow for a march from the rally location, which was near the White House to the Capitol,” Truthout reported Wednesday. “But it does say that ‘some participants may leave to attend rallies at the United States Capitol.’”

Despite their attempts “to distance themselves from the …read more


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