Connect with us

News

Mismanagement or corruption? Where is the record $107 million in donations to Trump’s inauguration?

Published

on

Mismanagement or corruption? Where is the record $107 million in donations to Trump’s inauguration?

 

Daily Brian / Flickr White House stresses Trump has x27...
Daily Brian / Flickr

In 2009, President Obama and his inauguration team oversaw the largest inauguration crowd in American history. They hauled in $55 million in private donations to cover the expenses. Fast forward to 2017 and Team Trump collected a record-breaking $107 million, but much of the eye-popping haul came from mysterious sources. One mega-donor has now been revealed. From Robert Maguire of McClatchy DC:

One of the largest contributions to President Donald Trump’s inaugural committee in 2016 appears to have been orchestrated by a set of powerful conservative legal activists who have since been put in the driver’s seat of the administration’s push to select and nominate federal judges.

The $1 million inaugural gift came from a Northern Virginia company called BH Group, LLC. Unlike other generous corporate inaugural donors, like Bank of America and Dow Chemical, though, BH Group was a cipher, and likely was set up solely to prevent disclosure of the actual donor’s name.

Almost nothing is known about the company, including who runs it or its reason for being beyond writing a seven-figure check on Dec. 22, 2016, almost a month before Trump was sworn in.

While the source of the money used to make the gift was masked from the public, a trail of clues puts the contribution at the doorstep of some of the same actors — most notably Leonard Leo, an executive vice president at the conservative Federalist Society — who have helped promote Trump’s mission, and that of his White House counsel, Don McGahn, to fill judicial vacancies as quickly as he can with staunchly conservative, preferably young jurists.

Cool, cool. The Federalist Society essentially bought our court system, placing extreme right-wing judges throughout our court system, a disruption that could take decades to unwind.

So, just how unusual was this $107 million payday for the Trump team and where did that money go? MSNBC’s Ari Melber spoke to the president of Obama’s inaugural committee, Steve Kerrigan, to shed some light on the unusual situation. Kerrigan notes that Trump paid $26 million to a friend of Melania Trump’s for only a few weeks of work, noting that is four times more than the total amount paid to 450 staffers for Obama’s 2009 inauguration.

Melber and Kerrigan also highlighted the selfies and celebratory photos of suspect Russians in and around Trump and key cabinet members during the inauguration festivities.

Was the inauguration fund a vehicle for corruption? If so, that could add to the legal woes on the horizon for Donald Trump. Rick Gates, a key Trump inauguration staffer and fundraiser is cooperating with Robert Mueller. From Vox:

Special counsel Robert Mueller just flipped another former Trump staffer. Rick Gates — Paul Manafort’s longtime junior business partner and a 2016 Trump campaign aide — agreed to a plea deal in Mueller’s investigation Friday afternoon in which he’ll cooperate with the probe.

Gates pleaded to one count of conspiracy against the United States and one count of making false statements to the FBI. In exchange, other charges related to money laundering, acting as an unregistered foreign agent, and making other false statements will be dropped. Here are his statement of offense and plea agreement.


Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

News

SCOTUS nominee Brett Kavanaugh said he would ‘put the nail’ in independent counsel ruling

Published

on

By

SCOTUS nominee Brett Kavanaugh said he would ‘put the nail’ in independent counsel ruling

In a 2016 video, Judge Kavanaugh argued that he would overturn Morrison v. Olson, a Supreme Court ruling that underpins the appointment of independent counsels. The ruling largely fell out of favor after Ken Starr’s turn in the Clinton era. As FiveThirtyEight’s Nate Silver points out, however, Kavanaugh volunteered the example by himself, revealing something about his views on Supreme Court precedent.

Continue Reading

News

Sarah Sanders: We’re working on “bold reforms” to stop Russian election interference

Published

on

By

Sarah Sanders: We’re working on “bold reforms” to stop Russian election interference

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said the Trump administration is working on “bold reforms” to ensure Russian interference in US elections never happens again.

Sanders was asked if Trump sees Russian meddling in the 2016 election as “an attack on democracy.”

The President has faced continued furor over his remarks about election meddling made alongside Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday in Helsinki.

Here’s what Sanders said today:

The President thinks that we have to focus on securing our election integrity and our election systems, which is why he has spent so much time with his administration making sure that this doesn’t happen again. Let’s not forget this didn’t happen under President Trump’s watch. This happened under the Obama administration. We’re taking steps, we’re making bold reforms to try to fix this and make sure it never happens again.

Continue Reading

News

Here’s what Sarah Sanders says Trump and Putin talked about in their private meeting

Published

on

By

Here’s what the White House says Trump and Putin talked about in their private meeting

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders listed a number of topics that were included in President Trump’s private one-on-one meeting with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.

Sanders listed Syrian humanitarian aid, Israeli security, North Korea, denuclearization, Ukraine and the occupation of Crimea, reducing Russian and US nuclear arsenals, and “your favorite topic” Russian interference in elections.

Sanders said the meeting reflected the “beginning of the dialogue with Russia and our administration and theirs and we’re going to continue working through those things.”

Sanders also said Putin’s proposal of having Russian prosecutors question US officials, including former US ambassador to Russia Mike McFaul, arose in Trump’s meeting, but she said no agreements were reached.

“He said it was an interesting idea. He didn’t commit to anything,” Sanders said. “We’ve committed to nothing.”

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Trending