Trump Was Just The Beginning
All told, the Trump and party operation raised $1.2 billion on WinRed, and refunded roughly 10 percent of it.
Whatever blowback it received, WinRed was not deterred. Soon after the November election ended, the two Republican Senate incumbents in Georgia, David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler, deployed prechecked weekly recurring boxes in advance of their January runoffs.
Predictably, refund rates spiked.
Keith Millhouse, a transportation consultant in California, intended to donate once to Mr. Perdue, with the aim of keeping Republicans in control of the Senate. He wound up a recurring contributor and called the practice repugnant and deceptive.
Im busy like a lot of other people during this Covid era and I just wanted to get in, make a donation, get done and move on to what I needed to do next, he said. I thought I had done that. Then I find out that, you know, Im getting these other charges.
He canceled the repeating charge when he saw the reminder email. But by then WinRed had already processed his second $100 bonus contribution. He figured it was not worth the hassle to protest. Dont try to sucker it out of me, he said.
Now WinRed is exporting the tools it pioneered during the Trump re-election bid across the Republican Party, presaging a new normal for G.O.P. campaigns.
Rachel Shorey contributed reporting and Kitty Bennett contributed research.
Federal Law Bars Donations To Most Federal Agencies
Federal regulations bar many government agencies from accepting donations unless approved by Congress. If Congress does not approve them, the money goes to the Treasury Department’s general fund.
While gifts to the United States do not require statutory authority, gifts to an individual federal agency stand on a different footing,” the law says. “The rule is that a government agency may not accept for its own use gifts of money or other property in the absence of specific statutory authority … As the Comptroller General said in that decision, hen the Congress has considered desirable the receipt of donations . . . it has generally made specific provision therefor . . . . Thus, acceptance of a gift of money or other property by an agency lacking statutory authority to do so is an improper augmentation. If an agency does not have statutory authority to accept donations of money, it must turn the money in to the Treasury as miscellaneous receipts.
Despite these regulations White House spokesman Judd Deere confirmed to USA TODAY that all of the federal agencies to which Trump has donated have received the money.
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“I need every single red-blooded American Patriot to step up during this time,” the email read.
Justice Department and FBI officials declined to comment on the raid, saying that they don’t discuss ongoing investigations.
Trump’s latest fundraising push comes amid what appears to be a gradual slowing down of his massive fundraising prowess, as Trump’s fundraising committees have been bringing in relatively smaller hauls over the past few months.
Last month, Trump’s Save America Joint Fundraising Committee reported raising just $17 million during the entire three-month period from April through June, including a little under $6 million for the Save America PAC itself. The amount represents a big drop from the hundreds of millions of dollars Trump’s team and the Republican Party raised together in the months following the 2020 election.
The Republican National Committee, which has continued to raise money in Trump’s name even though it no longer fundraises in conjunction with Trump’s PAC, also sought to raise funds off the FBI raid. It sent out an email with the subject line “BREAKING NEWS” to supporters late Monday night, just as the news about the raid was unfolding, saying that “This is UNPRECEDENTED.”
“We need YOU … to step up RIGHT NOW to stand with the GOP & STOP JOE BIDEN,” the email read.
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s campaign, meanwhile, was selling hats and T-shirts that say “Defund the FBI.”
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Us House Judiciary Committee Investigations
On September 13, 2016, all fifteen Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee, then in the minority, sent a letter to Attorney GeneralLoretta Lynch requesting that the Justice Department launch a criminal investigation of Trump in connection with his foundation’s $25,000 grant to Pam Bondi’s campaign. The letter specifically cited possible violations of two anti-bribery laws.
On March 4, 2019, new House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler issued a subpoena to the Trump Foundation for copies of a broad range of documents it had previously delivered to Robert Mueller’s office or any other domestic law enforcement agency on or after November 8, 2016, the day of Trump’s election. The request specifically focused on domestic emoluments and contact with Russia-related entities or people.
Promotion Of Conspiracy Theories
Before and throughout his presidency, Trump has promoted numerous conspiracy theories, including , the theory, , the theory, , a involving , linking talk show host to the death of a staffer, alleged foul-play in the death of Justice , , and that and Obama and Biden had members of killed. In at least two instances, Trump clarified to press that he also believed the conspiracy theory in question.
During and since the 2020 presidential election, Trump has promoted various conspiracy theories for his defeat including dead people voting, voting machines changing or deleting Trump votes, fraudulent mail-in voting, throwing out Trump votes, and “finding” suitcases full of Biden votes.
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Presidential Campaign And 2011 Hints At Presidential Run
In 2000, Trump for nomination as the Reform Party candidate for the but withdrew from the race in February 2000. A July 1999 poll matching him against likely Republican nominee and likely Democratic nominee showed Trump with seven percent support.
In 2011, Trump against President Barack Obama in , making his first speaking appearance at the in February 2011 and giving speeches in early primary states. In May 2011, he announced he would not run, and he endorsed in February 2012. Trump’s presidential ambitions were generally not taken seriously at the time.
Donald J Trump Foundation
|1988 34 years ago|
The Donald J. Trump Foundation was a New York-based tax-exemptprivate foundation formed in 1988 by Donald Trump and existed until its court-ordered and court-supervised dissolution in 2019. It was formed by Trump to receive his share of the royalties from his book Trump: The Art of the Deal, as well as donations from outsiders, to be applied to charitable causes. Trump served as its president until January 2017, three days after his inauguration as U.S. President. Trump’s three adult children Ivanka, Eric and Donald Jr. all served on the board, which had not met after 1999. Trump stopped contributing to the foundation in 2008, but continued to solicit donations.
The foundation’s activities came under scrutiny during the 2016 presidential election campaign, initially by The Washington Post‘sDavid Fahrenthold. Law enforcement investigators subsequently discovered various ethical and legal violations, including failure to register in New York, self-dealing and illegal campaign contributions. In December 2016, Trump tried to dissolve the foundation, but the New York State Attorney General‘s office blocked dissolution pending completion of its investigations.
|This article is part of a series about|
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Where Did The Big Money Go
Very large donations in U.S. presidential elections are directed to super PACs or hybrid PACs because of the $5,600 limit on how much an individual can give to a candidates official campaign committee per election cycle. America First Action, a single-candidate, pro-Trump super PAC founded in April 2017 to support his agenda and deliver him a victory, was the primary recipient of funds from his wealthy backers.
Millions of dollars have come into the super PAC from the affiliated America First Policies nonprofit, but because it doesnt disclose its donors, its known as a dark money group, and we cant be certain who contributed to it. Trump supporters may have also given to joint fundraising committees set up for the presidential campaign and the Republican National Committeefor example, Trump Victory or the Trump Make America Great Again Committee.
Timothy Mellon Pan Am Systems $10 Million
An heir to the Mellon banking fortune and the grandson of former U.S. Treasury Secretary Andrew Mellon, his is among the biggest donations this election cycle. He owns the largest regional railroad in North America, Pan Am Railways, which went up for sale in July. Hes been notably reclusive and absent from politics. Republican operatives reportedly had to look his name up on Google when he came forward to help.
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Lafayette Square Protester Removal And Photo Op
On June 1, 2020, federal law enforcement officials used batons, rubber bullets, projectiles, , and smoke to remove a largely peaceful crowd of protesters from , outside the . Trump then walked to , where protesters had set a small fire the night before he posed for photographs holding a Bible, with senior administration officials later joining him in photos. Trump said on June 3 that the protesters were cleared because “they tried to burn down the church and almost succeeded”, describing the church as “badly hurt”.
Religious leaders condemned the treatment of protesters and the photo opportunity itself. Many retired military leaders and defense officials condemned Trump’s proposal to use the U.S. military against anti-police brutality protesters. The chairman of the , General , later apologized for accompanying Trump on the walk and thereby “creat the perception of the military involved in domestic politics”.
Legal Affairs And Bankruptcies
Fixer served as Trump’s lawyer and mentor for 13 years in the 1970s and 1980s. According to Trump, Cohn sometimes waived fees due to their friendship. In 1973, Cohn helped Trump countersue the United States government for $100 million over its charges that Trump’s properties had racial discriminatory practices. Trump and Cohn lost that case when the countersuit was dismissed and the government’s case went forward. In 1975, an agreement was struck requiring Trump’s properties to furnish the with a list of all apartment vacancies, every week for two years, among other things. Cohn introduced political consultant to Trump, who enlisted Stone’s services to deal with the federal government.
As of November 2016, Trump and his businesses had been involved in more than 4,000 state and federal legal actions, according to a running tally by .
While Trump has not filed for , his over-leveraged hotel and casino businesses in Atlantic City and New York filed for protection six times between 1991 and 2009. They continued to operate while the banks restructured debt and reduced Trump’s shares in the properties.
During the 1980s, more than 70 banks had lent Trump $4 billion, but in the aftermath of his corporate bankruptcies of the early 1990s, most major banks declined to lend to him, with only Deutsche Bank still willing to lend money. After the , the bank decided not to do business with Trump or his company in the future.
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Investigations By The Washington Post And Others
During the 2016 U.S. presidential election, David Fahrenthold of The Washington Post began looking into Trump’s history of charitable giving. In January 2016, Trump held a fundraiser for veterans’ causes in lieu of appearing at a televised Republican debate. He claimed that the event raised $6 million, including $1 million of his own money. Fahrenthold began his investigation by attempting to verify the receipt and disbursal of the $6 million. All donations were supposed to have gone into the Trump Foundation and then granted by the foundation to others. Fahrenthold determined instead that, several months after the rally, the Trump Foundation had yet to disburse funds to any veteran-related charities. Although some of the funds went directly to causes without passing through the Trump Foundation, Fahrenthold widened his investigation into a larger investigation into Trump’s history of charitable giving. In the November 2019 settlement ordering Trump to pay $2 million in damages, he acknowledged that the veterans’ fundraiser had been a campaign event and that his campaign had been given full control of the raised funds.
Fahrenthold’s investigation into the Trump Foundation and Trump’s history of personal charitable giving involved hundreds of calls to charities associated with Donald Trump it was also notable in that he drew heavily on support and investigative help from a large number of his who helped him track down leads on specific charities.
Solicitation Of Donations Without A License
Under New York State law, a not-for-profit foundation must register as a “7A Charitable Organization” if it plans to solicit outside donations over $25,000 in any year. The Trump Foundation was initially registered as a private foundation set up solely to receive his own personal donations. As long as it was private and did not solicit outside funds, it did not have to file annual audited reports with the New York State Charities Bureau. However, records show that Trump began soliciting donations at least as early as 2004 and possibly as early as 1989.
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What To Know About The Trump Investigations
Classified documents inquiry.The F.B.I. searched Mr. Trumps Florida home as part of the Justice Departments investigation into his handling of classified materials. The inquiry is focused on documents that Mr. Trump had brought with him to Mar-a-Lago, his private club and residence, when he left the White House.
Diversion Of Taxable Income To The Foundation As Donations
The Washington Post reported in September 2016 that Donald Trump had directed that $2.3 million owed to him and his organization by various people and organizations should be paid instead to his foundation as donations, possibly evading personal income taxes. The Post found old Associated Press coverage showing that Trump may have started directing income to the Trump Foundation as early as 1989. IRS rules prohibit individuals from diverting taxable income owed to them toward charities if they benefit directly from those charities unless the individual declares the income on his tax forms. Since Trump had yet to release his income taxes at that time, the Post was unable to confirm if the income was declared for any of the donations received.
The Trump Foundation received at least $1.9 million from ticket broker Richard Ebers. Richard Ebers had bought goods and services, including tickets, from “Trump or his businesses” he was allegedly instructed to make payment for them to the Trump Foundation in the form of charitable contributions instead of as income for the Trump organization.
Other donations made to the Trump Foundation that may have been in return for Trump’s personal work include:
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In total, the Trump Organization collected $188,000 in rent between January and June, all paid for through Trump’s campaign donations.
Trump Restaurants LLC also collected rent from the PAC even after the former president left office and during a time when tourists visiting Trump Tower were few due to the coronavirus pandemic totalling $15,000, according to federal filings.
Save America, the leadership PAC, paid the Trump Hotel Collection $79,000 in total after Mr Trump left office, according to the White House. Those expenses were largely for lodging and meals.
The Trump Organization did not comment on the self-dealing payments, but the former president did issue a statement boasting that his affiliated committees have approximately $100m of cash ready for use.
These fundraising numbers, coupled with tremendous support in so many other ways, show that President Trumps supporters want him to continue the fight, the statement said.
Making Grants To Other Private Foundations Without Fulfilling Irs Expenditure Responsibility Rules
The Trump Foundation is responsible by law for ensuring that any grant it makes to another private foundation is used strictly for charitable purposes. To fulfill this IRS “expenditure responsibility” the foundation is required to attach “full and detailed” reports describing the use of the grant money to its IRS 990 tax return for each year a grant to a private foundation is made. Trump Foundation tax returns show that it failed to do this for all twenty of the grants it made to private foundations during the period of 2005 through 2014. Such grants in this period, which total at least $488,500, could be subject to significant fines and penalties.
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High Concern Advisory For: Donald J Trump Foundation
On September 13, 2016, The New York Times reported on the operations of Donald J. Trump Foundation, a charity that has announced intentions to dissolve, in an article titled, “New York Attorney General to Investigate Donald Trumps Nonprofit.” For this reason, we have issued a High Concern CN Advisory. For more information, please see The New York Times article.
Online Conspiracy Theorists: Leila Centner Michael And Caryn Borland
David and Leila Centner have never spoken publicly about their support for Trump and hadn’t made a political donation until they gave a combined $1 million to support Trumps 2020 campaign. Come Jan. 6, the Miami couple were VIP guests at the rally on the Ellipse, according to organizers. The couple declined to comment through a spokesperson.
David Centner started and sold several successful web businesses, then made a fortune on a company that processed highway tolls. In 2019, taking advantage of a provision in Trumps tax bill, the Centners reportedly invested $40 million in a fund to build affordable housing for teachers. The tax incentive, known as Opportunity Zones, was intended to entice investors into developing poorer neighborhoods. But many wealthy and well-connected people have foundwaysto use it to subsidize their preexisting projects.
After not being able to find a school that felt right for their daughter, the Centners started their own, the brightly colored Centner Academy in Miamis Design District.
Some school parents objected when Leila Centner used the building to host a campaign event for a conservative mayoral candidate. According to emails quoted in the Miami New Times, Centner responded to their concerns by saying, Please do not tell me what types of events I can host in my own building after hours.
We cannot allow recently vaccinated people to be near our students until more information is known.
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