For anybody tuning in that terrible Wednesday morning, it was onerous to distinguish the Cease the Steal rally from any of the opposite rallies that had marked Trump’s marketing campaign from the start. Not solely was Trump coming to talk on the shut of occasions, all the things from the indicators to the music (virtually all of it performed over the objection of the artists) appeared like one other cease on a marketing campaign that merely didn’t halt when the election was over.
However in fact, protesting the counting of electoral votes over two months after the election just isn’t the type of occasion that’s typically sanctioned for a marketing campaign working beneath FEC rules. In order that they outsourced it. Form of.
Trump’s marketing campaign paid out over $2.7 million to the record of people and companies that have been formally on the hook for the Jan. 6 rally. That features at the least half a dozen individuals who had beforehand collected six-figure incomes from the Trump marketing campaign. On the high of that record: Megan Powers. Powers was listed as one in all two operations managers for Ladies for America First within the allow for the Jan. 6 occasion. Nevertheless, she was additionally director of operations for the Trump 2020 marketing campaign, a task that netted her $290,000 in pay.
As OpenSecrets makes clear, even the cash that flowed to individuals who miraculously left the Trump marketing campaign simply in time to host the rally doesn’t symbolize the total extent of the marketing campaign’s involvement. Undisclosed to the FEC have been a set of transactions the place cash was moved by means of shell firms, making it almost not possible to hint all of the funds that flowed out of marketing campaign coffers, or the place that cash ended up.
As only one instance, Justin Caporale was the Trump’s marketing campaign’s advance director up till November 2020. Then he partnered with one other former member of Trump’s marketing campaign employees to create a agency referred to as Occasion Methods Inc. That agency was then paid over $1.7 million that got here both immediately from Trump’s marketing campaign or from post-election fundraising. That wasn’t all: The darkish cash group America First Insurance policies kicked one other $2.1 million to each Occasion Methods and the “nonprofit” Ladies for America First.
Even that’s only a fraction of the completely different organizations, shell firms, and PACs created to permit the Trump marketing campaign to function not directly, and to funnel marketing campaign funds to actions that aren’t allowed beneath FEC rules.
It’s not the primary time somebody has tried to make an finish run round these rules. In 2012, Ron Paul’s marketing campaign shuffled cash by means of a vendor, after which a subvendor, with a purpose to disguise bribes. They have been caught and given severe sentences as a sign from the FEC that this type of motion wouldn’t be tolerated.
Trump pardoned everybody concerned in December.
In simply the months following the election, Trump raised over $500 million from people who have been requested to assist pay for his authorized battle within the try and overturn the election. It’s clear that Trump spent about $3 million in recount efforts, little or no on precise authorized points, and a number of other million extra offering behind-the-scenes funding for occasions just like the Jan. 6 insurgency. It’s not clear the place the remainder of that cash has gone.