Organizers of Trump Rally Had Been on Campaign’s Payroll
The payments, which span Trump’s re-election campaign, show an ongoing financial relationship between the rally’s organizers and Trump’s political operation. They were all made through Nov. 23, the most recent date covered by Federal Election Commission filings, which is before the rally was publicly announced.
Eight paid Trump campaign officials were named on the permit issued on by the National Park Service for the rally, including Maggie Mulvaney, the niece of Mick Mulvaney, Trump’s former chief of staff who resigned his position as special envoy to Northern Ireland after the riot. Maggie Mulvaney was paid $138,000 by the campaign through Nov. 23.
After the rally, in which the president encouraged them to march on the Capitol, Trump supporters stormed the building, disrupting the count of Electoral College votes in an event that ultimately killed five people. Lawmakers and Vice President Mike Pence, who was presiding over what is normally a ceremonial event, were forced to flee.
The Associated Press first reported the payments.
A Trump campaign adviser said the campaign had no role in organizing, operating or paying for the rally. No campaign staff worked on it, said the adviser, who asked not to be named. He added that any employees or contractors who worked on the event did not do so at the campaign’s direction.
Megan Powers, listed as one of two operations managers on the permit, was paid $290,000 by the Trump campaign from February 2019 through the most recent filing period. She served as director of operations for Trump’s campaign.
Caroline Wren, a top GOP fundraiser who was listed on the permit as an adviser to the rally and Ronald Holden, the backstage manager, were also paid by the campaign.
The biggest recipient of campaign funds according to the report, was Event Strategies Inc., which was paid more than $1.7 million by Trump’s campaign and joint fundraising committee. The firm’s owners, Justin Caporale and Tim Unes, served as rally production manager and stage manager, respectively.
Women for America First, the nonprofit organization that requested the permit on Nov. 24, originally for an event to be held on Jan. 23, had a financial relationship with America First Policies, the pro-Trump nonprofit formed to advance his agenda shortly after he took office, according to the report. America First Policies made a $25,000 grant to Women for America First in 2019, its most recent tax return shows.