A pro-Trump Super PAC controlled by a billionaire Trump ally has been paying businesses associated with former New York City Mayor, Rudy Giuliani, over a half million dollars over the course of the last two years and even GOP congressmen are up in arms.
According to the Daily Beast, Billionaire Trump supporter Robert Mercer and his daughter Rebekah control Make America Number 1, a Super PAC that once supported Ted Cruz.
Known up until the last few months as Keep The Promise 1, the PAC started paying the law firm of Bracewell & Giuliani in exchange for various services back in June 2015, and halted business shortly after Giuliani left in January. As of February 2016, those payments totaled $336,495. In May, shortly after Ted Cruz’s concession, the PAC switched over to Giuliani’s new firm, Greenberg & Traurig and initially paid them $99,470 for various legal and compliance services. It was around this time that the PAC changed it’s name and switched over to the Trump camp.
The PAC has a rather colorful self-description on its website:
‘Make America Number 1 is an independent expenditure. the only Super Pac dedicated to supporting conservative principles, upholding the rule of law, and opposing ethically challenged candidates. It’s (sic) first special project entitled, “Defeat Crooked Hillary”, will shed light on what the Clinton’s (sic) want to keep in the dark.’
Greenberg & Traurig received $9,698 the day after the Republican National Convention, at which Giuliani spoke and attended with his wife. The funds were marked down as being for “legal consulting services.” But if the payment was meant to cover Giuliani’s expenses as a speaker at the convention, it could land the former mayor and the PAC in hot water. Federal guidelines prohibit a super PAC from conspiring with a campaign. Such guidelines would be among the issues that Giuliani’s law firm would be in charge of enforcing as counsel to Make America Number 1.
The PAC also issued three payments to Giuliani’s law firm in September and October of this year, totaling $118,340.
A call to Giuliani’s aide at the firm was not promptly returned. And a representative of the PAC told The Daily Beast that he could not answer journalist’s questions, but that he would attempt to get another staff member to reply.
The ties between Giuliani and the Trump camp run deep. Greenberg & Traurig represents both Trump and Kushner companies, the latter of which is headed by Ivanka Trump’s husband, Jared Kushner. Trump himself has used Giuliani’s firm for small legal matters in Florida. And shortly following his job change to the Greenberg firm in January, Trump announced that Giuliani would be acting as an advisor to his campaign.
If Giuliani’s firm has indeed been paid by the PAC for compliance oversight, they might not be doing the best job. The payment to Giuliani’s firm is only the tip of the iceberg. Make America Number 1 has a close relationship with two companies with strong connections to Trump campaign CEO, Steve Bannon. They have paid millions to multimedia production house Glittering Steel, and a political data firm called Cambridge Analytica.
A revelation that Trump PACs are violating election law might not be catastrophic for the Trump campaign, but they certainly can’t help his chances either.
Featured image courtesy of Jessica Kourkounis on Getty Images. All rights reserved. Image has been modified from its original form.