Charles Johnson, Giants Owner, Asks QAnon-backing Rep. Lauren Boebert for Donor Refunds

Charles B. Johnson, the billionaire owner of San Francisco Giants, said on Monday night that he asked for his and his wife's donations to a QAnon-backing lawmaker be returned, after being criticised for the move by fans of the baseball team.

Lauren Boebert, a U.S. House Representative for Colorado, has voiced her support for the right-wing conspiracy group which believes a cabal of Satan-worshipping pedophiles is running a child sex-trafficking ring and plotting to bring down President Donald Trump. The QAnon conspiracy has repeatedly been disproven and discredited.

The representative, 34, has also been criticised for her response for her actions around the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. Two Democratic lawmakers have accused her of giving a reconnaissance tour of the building with a large group, days before the riot. Her office has denied the claims.

Boebert has also received backlash for tweeting the location of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi during the riot and clashing with police over metal detectors installed at the Capitol afterward.

Johnson, a regular donor to the Republican party, and his wife, Ann, each donated $2,800 to Boebert's campaign, Federal Election Commission filings show. The donations were made on September 23, between the primary and general election, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

Johnson, 88, has mainly kept a low profile, but failed to escape the limelight in 2018 when it was revealed that the super PAC he contributed to ran a racially-charged radio advertisement as part of an Arkansas congressional race.

"As I stated last week, I am appalled by the violence that erupted at the Capitol on January 6, 2021, and the destructive efforts to interrupt the certification of the 2020 Presidential Election," Johnson said in the statement on Monday.

"My wife Ann and I reject and denounce any individuals, candidates or elected officials who do not honor our constitution or who espouse or assist in violence of any kind. I have contacted the office of Representative Lauren Boebert to request a full refund of our contribution.

"I will continue to follow the ongoing investigation closely and will request refunds from any other individuals who are found to have engaged in similar behavior. And I pledge to do my part in helping to heal our nation and restore peace and respect in our democratic system."

Newsweek has contacted the Giants and Boebert for comment.

In a statement on 15 January, Johnson said he wasn't aware that Boebert supported QAnon when he made the donation.

The previous day, the Giants issued a statement condemning the January 6 violence and said the team's policy didn't allow company contributions to candidates for federal office.

Christine Pelosi, Nancy Pelosi's daughter who has been a Giants' Community Fund board member for 12 years, threatened to quit the board if Johnson did ask for his money back by Monday, the Sacramento Bee reported.

Johnson has donated nearly $11 million to Republican candidates and political action committees in federal elections since 2015, according to data published by ESPN and FiveThirtyEight last year.

Correction (01/19/21, 2:01 p.m. ET): The headline for this story initially called Rep. Boebert a senator. The headline has been updated with her correct title.

Lauren Boebert at campaign rally
Lauren Boebert, the Republican candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives seat in Colorado's 3rd Congressional District, addresses supporters during a campaign rally in Colona, Colorado on October 10, 2020. San Franscisco Giants owner Charles Johnson has demanded a refund after he and his wife donated $5,600 to the Colorado representative's campaign. Jason Connolly/Getty