Professional-Trump darkish cash teams organized the rally that led to lethal riots on Capitol Hill
A network of pro-Trump dark money groups helped organize the rally that led to a deadly riot on Capitol Hill.
During the rally on Wednesday, President Donald Trump encouraged supporters to march to the steps of Congress to protest the results of the electoral college vote that confirmed Joe Biden as the 2020 election winner.
“We’ll go down to the Capitol and cheer on our brave senators and congressmen, and we probably won’t cheer some of them as much,” Trump said at the rally outside the White House before the uprising began. After the rally, Trump supporters marched to the steps of Congress and broke into the U.S. Capitol.
At least five people were pronounced dead, including a police officer. Although the Justice Department has said Trump himself should not be charged, acting DCUS attorney Michael Sherwin had previously admitted that he “looks at all of the actors” who played a role in Wednesday’s attack.
Trump is currently embroiled in another possible impeachment investigation following the uprising. House spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., Said that unless the president resigns, the house will petition for impeachment.
The rally, officially known as the March to Save America, was largely organized by a 501 (c) (4) group known as Women for America First. The organization has been recognized by the Internal Revenue Service as a nonprofit that can engage in limited political activities. These groups are known as dark money organizations because they do not publicly disclose their donors.
However, America First Polices, a pro-Trump dark money advocacy group, announced in 2019 that they had contributed to Women for America First. America First’s 990 disclosure form this year shows they donated $ 25,000 to Women for America First.
America First Policies, which is also a 501 (c) (4) that does not disclose its donors, is led by Linda McMahon, a longtime Trump ally and former head of the Small Business Administration. The 2019 filing shows America First Policies ultimately raised over $ 30 million. You were not involved in planning the rally yourself.
Women for America First is led by Amy Kremer, a longtime political figure who once ran the Tea Party Express, an organization founded to support the conservative Tea Party movement. Kylie Jane Kremer, the managing director of Women for Trump, is named as the person in charge on the permit for the rally. Permission was first obtained from The Washingtonian.
The approval for the event states that the expected attendance was 5,000 people. However, the Women for Trumps denunciation of the violence on Capitol Hill states that “hundreds of thousands of Americans” have come to Washington to attend their rally.
Women for America First’s Facebook pages indicate that they were calling on supporters to be part of what they referred to as the “caravan” to Washington for the event. A recent post said we should meet at an address in Virginia on January 5th, the day before the now infamous rally, to “take the caravan to DC.” There is a picture of a bus with their logo on and although it states it does, they do not provide transportation and encourage people to follow the bus.
A post on January 5th shows a video of something that appears to have come from a part of the bus in the “caravan”. In the Post, a woman says they brought an escort to Washington DC and asked people to attend the upcoming rally.
“Send the word. We’ll meet tomorrow. It’s in front of the White House … that way you don’t have to go far to see us,” says the woman holding the camera. “It’s going to be epic,” she adds.
The executive director of Women for America First promoted the rally through a Twitter post that was retweeted over 16,000 times. She notes that it was shared by the president himself. Trump had over 80 million followers before he was finally banned from Twitter on Friday.
Neither the leaders nor a spokesperson for the group returned requests for comments.
The permits also give an insight into the cost of the event.
From Jan. 2-5, organizers were involved in setting up lights, tents, floors, bike racks, chairs, and decor, all for Trump’s Jan. 6 speech. The publicly traded production provider was Event Strategies, a company founded by Tim Unes. On the company website, Unes is credited with producing Trump’s “Campaign Announcement Tour” in 2015 and later joined the campaign as deputy advance director.
Her client list includes the Trump campaign, the White House Executive Office, and other presidential campaigns, including Sen. Mitt Romneys, R-Utah.
Data from the non-partisan Center for Responsive Politics shows that Trump’s re-election campaign paid event strategies over $ 1 million during the 2020 election cycle. Other pro-Trump groups also paid for the vendors’ production services.
Women for Trump were involved in setting up a backstage area, the permit says. Behind the scenes, according to a video obtained from CNBC, included President Donald Trump Jr., his girlfriend and Trump campaign advisor Kimberly Guilfoyle, his brother Eric Trump, and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows. Many behind the scenes laughed and danced before the festivities followed.
Beyond Women for America First, there were other outside groups that were involved in encouraging people to rally.
NBC News reported that the Republican Attorneys General Association’s political arm, the Rule of Law Defense Fund, was sending out robocalls encouraging people to march on the U.S. Capitol.
“At 1 p.m. we will march to the Capitol and ask Congress to stop the theft,” said the voice on the recording on NBC. The calls did not call for violence.
Steve Marshall, Alabama attorney general who leads the policy, said the calls were made without his consent and he had initiated an internal review.
The Republican Attorneys General Association raised over $ 18 million in 2020.
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