The rich family led by conservative megadonors Robert and Rebekah Mercer, whose cash helped propel Donald Trump to victory in 2016, invested nearly $20 million final yr right into a GOP-friendly darkish cash fund that enables donors to preserve secret the last word vacation spot of their contributions.
The Mercers’ donation, delivered by means of their family basis, went to the Donors Trust, in accordance to a brand new 990 disclosure type. The hefty contribution reveals that the Mercers performed a a lot larger function in financing teams during the 2020 election than beforehand recognized.
The Donors Trust takes the cash it receives and funnels it to teams of their donors’ selecting. It doesn’t legally have to publicly disclose who’s giving to their group or the place particular financiers focused their donations.
It is not clear the place the Mercers directed the Donors Trust to ship their cash. The Mercer Family Foundation completed the yr with simply over $45 million value of belongings, in accordance to the 990 type.
Some latest contributions to the Donors Trust have gone towards teams that pushed claims of election fraud earlier than and after President Joe Biden defeated Trump in final yr’s election. In 2019, the Donors Trust, despatched donations to teams equivalent to Turning Point USA, which is led by vocal Trump supporter Charlie Kirk; and the VDARE Foundation, which the Southern Poverty Law Center labeled a hate group.
Before the 2020 election, Trump warned with out proof that the election was prone to large voter fraud. Since dropping to Biden, Trump has continued to falsely declare that the election was stolen from him. Officials 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 truthful and sq..
Robert Mercer, and his three daughters, Rebekah, Jennifer and Heather, are all administrators of their family basis. In the buildup to the election, CNBC reported that the Mercers had opted to distance themselves from Trump and Republican management after they had 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 straight to campaigns final election cycle. Data from the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics reveals that neither Rebekah nor Robert Mercer, two of the larger GOP donors within the family, had been within the high 100 political donors during the 2019-2020 span.
The Mercers’ massive contribution in 2020 to the Donors Trust, a 501(c)(3), permits them to make such a donation with out having to publicly disclose precisely which exterior teams they funded that yr.
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 towards the previous president.
Representatives for Rebekah and Robert Mercer didn’t return requests for remark.
In 2019, the Donors Trust raised over $300 million and distributed simply over $160 million in grants. A spokesman for the group mentioned their 2020 kinds will not be obtainable to the general public till later this yr.
Records present that the Mercer basis’s 2020 contribution to Donors Trust is their largest donation by means of their nonprofit since at the very least 2016, when they give a similar amount to various conservative outside groups.
Last yr, exterior of the donation to Donors Trust, the brand new 990 type reveals that the one different contribution the muse made was $9,000 to the American Association for Aerosol Research, a nonprofit that touts sponsors equivalent to NASA and 3M.
The new 990 additionally offers a glimpse into the Mercers’ private funds.
According to the disclosure, the muse says it made at the very least $30 million off of transactions of belongings by means 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 equivalent title.
Institutional Investor reported earlier this yr that Renaissance Technologies Medallion fund had one of its best years ever in 2020, surging 76%. The information outlet reported the Medallion fund is simply obtainable to present and former staff of Renaissance Technologies.
The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this month that present and former executives at Renaissance Technologies, together with Robert Mercer, pays as a lot as $7 billion in again taxes, penalties and curiosity to settle a dispute with the Internal Revenue Service.