Trump's political organization shelled out more than $3.5M to Jan. 6 rally organizers: report

Trump's political organization shelled out more than $3.5M to Jan. 6 rally organizers: report
Jackson A. Lanier/ Wikimedia Commons

With the start of former President Donald Trump's second impeachment trial, many previously unreported details about the U.S. Capitol insurrection are coming to light.

According to Open Secrets, Federal Election Commission filings have revealed a substantial number of payments totaling more than $3.5 million, were made to organizers for the "Save America" rally by the Trump campaign. The payments being highlighted were not previously revealed:

"OpenSecrets unearthed more than $3.5 million in direct payments from Trump's 2020 campaign, along with its joint fundraising committees, to people and firms involved in the Washington, D.C. demonstration before a violent mob stormed the U.S. Capitol. Recent FEC filings show at least three individuals listed on permit records for the Washington, D.C. demonstration were on the Trump campaign's payroll through Nov. 30, 2020."

Shortly before the siege on the Capitol, Trump spoke to a crowd of his supporters, some of whom arrived by way of travel accommodations paid for by political organizations. During his speech, he encouraged his supporters to march to the Capitol, "fight like hell," and push to overturn the results of the presidential election.

According to new information assessed by OpenSecrets, during Trump's time on the campaign trail, his campaign and joint fundraising committee known as the Trump Make America Great Again Committee, shelled out more than $771 million through a company called American Made Media Consultants LLC.

The organizations' spending has raised a number of red flags due to the process in which the limited liability company was used to move money. The publication also reports that "the secretive limited-liability company was created by campaign aides and members of Trump's inner circle to act as a "clearinghouse" to pay vendors, concealing the campaign's transactions with those vendors."

The latest development comes just weeks after the Campaign Legal Center lodged a complaint alleging that the Trump campaign, in connection with its fundraising committee, may have committed federal election law violations by "'laundering' those funds and concealing details of the campaign's financial dealings":

"During the 2020 election cycle, this payment scheme disguised hundreds of millions of dollars paid to firms acting on behalf of the campaign as well to Trump's family members. Undisclosed beneficiaries of those payments reportedly included Lara Trump as well as campaign fundraiser Kimberly Guilfoyle, according to the complaint. The full roster of individuals working for Trump's campaign remains hidden from the American public. Details of those payments, such as the nature of services provided by each individual and the amount of money changing hands, are shrouded in mystery."

The influence of "dark money groups" that failed to disclose details about their contributors also played financial roles in the 'Stop the Steal' rally, according to the report.

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