Trump Rally Organizers Received Millions From Re-Election Campaign Before Capitol Riot

Former President Donald Trump's re-election campaign paid more than $2.7 million to several individuals and firms who helped to organize the Washington rally that preceded the violent storming of the Capitol on January 6, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

The payments indicate an ongoing financial relationship between the rally's organizers and Trump's political campaign. Financial disclosures show that the campaign made payments up until November 23, the most recent date covered by Federal Election Commission (FEC) fillings. The rally was announced in December.

Eight former Trump campaign officials were listed on the event permit granted by the National Park Service (NPS) for the rally. Among the individuals were the rally's "VIP Lead" Maggie Mulvaney, niece of former U.S. Special Envoy to Northern Ireland Mick Mulvaney, who resigned following the riot.

Mulvaney, whose LinkedIn profile lists her current position as director of finance operation and manager of external affairs for the Trump campaign, was paid $138,000 by the campaign through last November.

Caroline Wren, listed as a "VIP advisor," and Megan Powers were also among the names on the permit.

Wren, who served as a national finance consultant for a joint fundraising operation between the Trump campaign and the Republican National Committee, received $170,000 between March and November.

Powers, whose LinkedIn profile says she was the Trump campaign's director of operations as recently as this month, was paid around $290,000 from February 2019 through November 2020, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

Trump rally
President Donald Trump speaks to supporters from The Ellipse near the White House on January 6, in Washington, D.C. A new report shows that the rally's organizers were paid by the Trump campaign. Mandel Ngan/AFP

The payments were even larger for the firms that received money from the Trump campaign.

Event Strategies Inc., owned by Trump campaign's advance director Justin Caporale and the rally's stage manager Tim Unes, received more than $1.7 million from the re-election campaign and joint fundraising committee.

Caporale, who was listed as the rally's production manager, also received an additional $144,000 from the Trump campaign in direct payroll payments over a one-year period.

From 2018 to 2019, Caporale and Unes' firm notably received $2.1 million from Trump-affiliated America First Policies. The dark money group's tax returns, which were obtained by OpenSecrets, also indicated it previously funded Women for America First, the nonprofit that submitted the rally's permit records to NPS.

The revelations from the new report raises new questions as to whether the former president's political operation played a role in the event that resulted in a deadly riot.

Trump is already on the hot seat for encouraging rally-goers to march on the Capitol just moments before the same crowd attacked the congressional building and left five dead.

OpenSecrets has previously investigated the Trump campaign's use of shell companies, which allowed the campaign to disclose its spending to the FEC while channeling funds to vendors who identities remained hidden.

Newsweek reached out to the Trump campaign for comment but did not hear back before publication.