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Mercer household performed larger function in 2020 election than thought, giving almost $20 million to dark-money GOP fund

The rich household led by conservative megadonors Robert and Rebekah Mercer, whose cash helped propel Donald Trump to victory in 2016, invested almost $20 million final 12 months right into a GOP-friendly darkish cash fund that enables donors to maintain secret the last word vacation spot of their contributions.

The Mercers’ donation, delivered by way of their household basis, went to the Donors Belief, based on a brand new 990 disclosure type. The hefty contribution reveals that the Mercers performed a a lot larger function in financing teams through the 2020 election than beforehand identified.

The Donors Belief takes the cash it receives and funnels it to teams of their donors’ selecting. It doesn’t legally must publicly disclose who’s giving to their group or the place financiers focused their donations.

It is not clear the place the Mercers directed the Donors Belief to ship their cash. The Mercer Household Basis completed the 12 months with simply over $45 million price of belongings, based on the 990 type.

Some current contributions to the Donors Belief have gone towards teams that pushed claims of election fraud earlier than and after President Joe Biden defeated Trump in final 12 months’s election. In 2019, the Donors Belief, despatched donations to teams comparable to Turning Level USA, which is led by vocal Trump supporter Charlie Kirk; and the VDARE Basis, which the Southern Poverty Regulation Heart labeled a hate group.

Earlier than the 2020 election, Trump warned with out proof that the election was susceptible to huge voter fraud. Since shedding to Biden, Trump has continued to falsely declare that the election was stolen from him. Officers from each side of the political spectrum, together with former Trump Attorney General William Barr, have mentioned there was no widespread voter fraud and Biden received the election honest and sq..

Robert Mercer, and his three daughters, Rebekah, Jennifer and Heather, are all administrators of their household basis. Within the buildup to the election, CNBC reported that the Mercers had opted to distance themselves from Trump and Republican management after they have been scrutinized for serving to to bankroll the New York actual property magnate and actuality TV star’s profitable run for president in 2016.

The Mercers gave little or no on to campaigns final election cycle. Knowledge from the nonpartisan Heart for Responsive Politics reveals that neither Rebekah nor Robert Mercer, two of the larger GOP donors within the household, have been within the high 100 political donors through the 2019-2020 span.

The Mercers’ huge contribution in 2020 to the Donors Belief, a 501(c)(3), permits them to make such a donation with out having to publicly disclose precisely which exterior teams they funded that 12 months.

Rebekah Mercer is a key financier for Parler, a social media firm that has been an outlet for Trump allies to push false claims that the election was rigged in opposition to the previous president.

Representatives for Rebekah and Robert Mercer didn’t return requests for remark.

In 2019, the Donors Belief raised over $300 million and distributed simply over $160 million in grants. A spokesman for the group mentioned their 2020 types will not be out there to the general public till later this 12 months.

Data present that the Mercer basis’s 2020 contribution to Donors Belief is their largest donation by way of their nonprofit since not less than 2016, when they give a similar amount to various conservative outside groups.

Final 12 months, exterior of the donation to Donors Belief, the brand new 990 type reveals that the one different contribution the muse made was $9,000 to the American Affiliation for Aerosol Analysis, a nonprofit that touts sponsors comparable to NASA and 3M.

The brand new 990 additionally offers a glimpse into the Mercers’ private funds.

In line with the disclosure, the muse says it made not less than $30 million off of transactions of belongings by way of an entity recognized on the shape because the Medallion fund. Robert Mercer stepped down in 2017 from being co-CEO of the hedge fund Renaissance Technologies, which has a fund with an an identical title.

Institutional Investor reported earlier this 12 months that Renaissance Applied sciences Medallion fund had one of its best years ever in 2020, surging 76%. The information outlet reported the Medallion fund is simply out there to present and former workers of Renaissance Applied sciences.

The Wall Road Journal reported earlier this month that present and former executives at Renaissance Applied sciences, together with Robert Mercer, can pay as a lot as $7 billion in again taxes, penalties and curiosity to settle a dispute with the Inside Income Service.

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