'Phony Numbers and Front Groups': Trump's Inaugural Donor List Contains Massive Evidence of Fraud

President Donald Trump smashed records this month with a reported $107 million dollar worth of donations to the “58th Presidential Inaugural Committee”—doubling the amount received in 2009 by former President Barack Obama. But a deep dive into Trump’s Federal Election Committee filing, spearheaded by the Huffington Post’s Christina Wilkie, presents evidence that a large number of donors used “phony records” or are “front groups.”


In one case, Marion Forcht of Corbin, KY donated $50,000 to the president’s inaugural committee. His wife Terry also donated $50,000. Forcht owns Forcht Insurance Agency, with an estimated annual revenue of $134,500. In another, “GLM Development” donated $100,000 to the president—with an estimated revenue of $146,000. In yet another, Isabel T. John of Englewood, NJ donated $400,000. The problem? There’s no record she exists.

As the Intercept reports, Trump’s inaugural committee claimed it received $25,000 from NASA mathematician and physicist Katherine Johnson—a claim her power of attorney denies.

The Intercept also notes the filings reveal a $1 million donation from American Action Network, which NBC describes as a “dark money power player”—an organization used to funnel money to campaigns while masking the identity of the donor. It also lists a $300,000 donation from Bennett LeBow, a businessman who partnered with Trump on a failed Moscow real estate venture.

Wilkie, with the help of a Twitter call to action, transferred the inaugural committee’s FEC filing to an open-source spreadsheet. Volunteers are working to verify the identities of Trump’s donors, and leaving comments on the document.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card

Close

Don't Sit on the Sidelines of History. Join Alternet All Access and Go Ad-Free. Support Honest Journalism.