Trump campaign had paid $2.7M to organizers of rally ahead of Capitol riot: report
Former President Trump’s campaign had paid out more than $2.7 million to several individuals and firms behind the Jan. 6 rally in Washington that devolved into a violent insurrection at the Capitol, the Center for Responsive Politics reported on Friday.
Several organizers listed on the event permit granted by the National Parks Service (NPS) and posted online by the Center for Responsive Politics previously held positions within the Trump campaign or had ties to those who did.
Federal Election Commission filings show that the former president’s reelection campaign made payments to several of those individuals through Nov. 23, the most recent day for which financial disclosures are available.
Among those individuals listed on the permit was Maggie Mulvaney, a niece of former U.S. Special Envoy to Northern Ireland Mick Mulvaney, who resigned from his role after the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol. Maggie Mulvaney’s LinkedIn profile lists her current position as director of finance operations and manager of external affairs for the Trump campaign.
According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Mulvaney was paid at least $138,000 by the Trump campaign through last November.
Caroline Wren, who served as a national finance consultant for the Trump campaign and Republican National Committee’s joint fundraising operation, was also listed on the NPS permit for the rally as a “VIP advisor.” The Trump campaign paid Wren $170,000 from March to November.
Megan Powers, whose LinkedIn profile listed her as director of operations for the Trump campaign as recently as this month, was also among those whose names appeared on the permit. She was paid about $290,000 by the Trump campaign from February 2019 through November, according to the Center for Response Politics.
The largest recipient of payments from the Trump campaign was Event Strategies Inc., which received more than $1.7 million from the campaign and the former president’s joint fundraising committee.
That firm is owned by Justin Caporale, the Trump campaign’s advance director, and his business partner Tim Unes, who are listed on the rally permit as project manager and stage manager, respectively.
Event Strategies Inc. also received $2.1 million from the Trump-affiliated dark money group America First Policies from 2018 to 2019. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, America First Policies also provided funding to Women for America First, a political nonprofit whose leaders are listed on the rally permit as the event hosts.
The permit designates the Ellipse on the south side of the White House as the site of the event, which is described simply as a “First Amendment rally.”
But the revelation that several of the individuals involved in organizing the Jan. 6 gathering have financial ties to the Trump campaign raises new questions about the role some in the former president’s political operation may have played in an event linked to the violence at the Capitol that same day.
Speaking at the gathering at the Ellipse, Trump himself told rallygoers that they “will never take back our country with weakness” and urged them to “walk down to the Capitol” as Congress prepared to certify President Biden’s Electoral College victory.
Shortly after Trump’s remarks, a mob of his supporters stormed the Capitol, prompting a chaotic series of events in which members of Congress were forced to evacuate and five people, including a Capitol Police officer, died.
The episode sparked bipartisan outrage against Trump, who at times appeared to condone the violence.
The House moved last week to impeach him for inciting the insurrection, with every one of the chamber’s Democrats and 10 of its Republicans voting to do so.
The House is expected to send the article of impeachment to the Senate on Monday, a move that will trigger a trial in the upper chamber.
The Hill has removed its comment section, as there are many other forums for readers to participate in the conversation. We invite you to join the discussion on Facebook and Twitter.