Finance

Sidney Powell nonprofit raised nearly $15M after Trump lost election: report

A group led by Sidney Powell, an attorney who claimed last year's election was stolen from former President Trump, raised nearly $15 million in the months after Trump's defeat while contesting the election, an investigation by The Washington Post revealed. 

The Post cited a financial statement filed in Florida last month by the Powell group, Defending the Republic, that said it had raked in $14.9 million between Dec. 1, 2020, and July 31, 2021. 

Of that, roughly $5.6 million was used to cover legal fees and finance unidentified awards and grants, according to the Post.

The group funneled $550,000 of the capital it raised to the ballot audit in Maricopa County, Ariz., which was spearheaded by Republicans, the Post reported, citing a separate accounting by the contractor that oversaw the election review.

That review in September confirmed President Biden's win in the race by a larger margin than the final certified results had shown.

At the end of July, Defending the Republic had almost $5.3 million in cash on hand and $4 million invested in mutual funds, according to the audit reviewed by the Post.

Powell personally controlled $9 million as of this summer in her capacity as the head of Defending the Republic, the Post reported, citing an audited financial statement from the organization.

Powell, a former Trump campaign lawyer, and Defending the Republic are under scrutiny by the U.S. attorney's office for the District of Columbia.

The Post reported last week that the federal prosecutors issued Powell a grand jury subpoena in September asking that she provide communications and other records that are linked to fundraising and accounting by organizations she helped steer, including Defending the Republic.

Prosecutors have also reportedly subpoenaed a PAC led by Powell that is also named Defending the Republic.

Prosecutors are reportedly looking to scrutinize documents that date back to Nov. 1, 2020. Defending the Republic was officially incorporated as a business in Texas on Dec. 1, 2020 but had been fundraising well before that date.

The financial report cited by the Post did not include fundraising numbers from before the group was incorporated. It is not publicly known how much money Powell and the group brought in in the days after the election before the organization was officially established and if those funds were funneled to Defending the Republic.

The Post reported last week that in the days following the 2020 election, the Defending the Republic website directed visitors to donate to "Sidney Powell's Legal Defense Funds," which called for writing checks to Sidney Powell P.C., her law firm.

A May filing asserted that Powell "treated the entity's funds as her personal funds, redirecting them to the law firm she controls and dominates and raiding them to pay for her personal legal defense," according to the Post's report last week.

Additionally, Brandon Johnson, a representative for the organization, testified during an August deposition that he does not know where the donations made before Dec. 1 went.

"I don't know where they went, but they did not go to Defending the Republic," Johnson said, according to the newspaper.

Howard Kleinhendler, a lawyer for Defending the Republic, told the Post in a statement that the group "is pleased that its audited financials clearly refute and put to rest previously reported allegations of financial impropriety."

"Defending The Republic will continue to focus on its important work for #WeThePeople," he added.

Powell is also the subject of a defamation lawsuit filed by Dominion Voting Systems. She and other supporters of Trump's efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election claimed that the voting machine company took part in a scheme to interfere with the election and help put Biden on a path to victory 

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