Betsy DeVos’ foundation is giving $640,000 to right wing group whose 'scholar' wrote Trump-Pence coup memos

Betsy DeVos’ foundation is giving $640,000 to right wing group whose 'scholar' wrote Trump-Pence coup memos
"Betsy DeVos" by Gage Skidmore is licensed under CC by-sa 2.0
News & Politics

The foundation belonging to anti-public school activist and former Trump Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and her husband, is handing a right wing group, The Claremont Institute, $640,000.

“The Dick and Betsy DeVos Foundation donated $240,000 to Claremont in 2020 and approved another $400,000 to be paid out in the future, tax records show,” Rolling Stone reports in an article titled, “Revealed: The Billionaires Funding the Coup’s Brain Trust.”

The Claremont Institute is home to John Eastman, who was best known (and currently serves) as the chairman of the anti-LGBTQ organization NOM, the National Organization For Marriage. Eastman agreed to “retire” as a law professor at the Chapman University School of Law exactly one week after he delivered a speech, on stage with Rudy Giuliani, at Donald Trump’s rally that preceded the violent and deadly January 6 insurrection.

But only later would Americans learn that John Eastman was the architect and author of several documents, now called the “coup memos,” detailing how Vice President Mike Pence could, effectively, steal the election for Donald Trump on the fateful day of the insurrection.

Eastman continues to serve as a Senior Fellow at The Claremont Institute, and in his role as the Founding Director of the Claremont Institute’s Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence.

The Bulwark, founded by prominent conservative never-Trumpers, last year wrote: “That Claremont has been unparalleled in its intellectual submission to Trumpism should give us pause.”

In 2019, Claremont welcomed as a Lincoln Fellow the conspiracist and “ king of fake newsJack Michael Posobiec III. Posobiec, already well known as a promoter of the Pizzagate hoax and the Seth Rich conspiracy theory, was then working as a correspondent and host for the One America News Network (OANN), which became one of the major promoters of false claims about the 2020 election. Claremont remains proud of the affiliation with Posobiec, with an institute official recently calling him “one of the best public political voices in America”—just days before it was revealed that a right-wing website Posobiec frequently promoted was a Russian disinformation project.

And among the latest crop of Lincoln Fellows is Charlie Kirk, the founder of the right-wing youth-mobilizing group Turning Point USA. Kirk bragged about sending “80+ buses full of patriots to DC to fight” for Trump on January 6. After his slimy “Falkirk Center,” co-founded with Jerry Falwell Jr., imploded, Kirk was ousted from Liberty University. The Claremont Institute has welcomed him with open arms.

As Americans now know, Eastman also counseled President Donald Trump in other areas, but in a shocking revelation which The New York Times and other news outlets reported late last year, Eastman sat in the Oval Office with Trump attempting to pressure the outgoing vice president to act to overturn a free and fair election.

Later, on January 6, Eastman, The Washington Post reported, would blame Pence for the violent attempted coup which included Trump supporters hunting for Pence inside the Capitol, a gallows and noose just outside, chanting repeatedly, “hang Mike Pence.”

What was essentially an attempted assassination of a sitting vice president came barely hours after Eastman – who to this day remains a Claremont Institute “scholar” – at the Jan. 6 spouted “conspiracy theories about voter fraud.”

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