Herschel Walker Targeted By Feds After Shady Campaign Fundraising

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The Federal Election Commission, which is a U.S. agency that deals with campaign finances in races for federal office, is seeking additional information from the team for failed Republican Senate candidate Herschel Walker, who lost in a Georgia runoff election last year to Democratic incumbent Raphael Warnock. The incumbent secured another term of six years.

A particularly attention-grabbing discrepancy is found in that the Walker campaign set up a fund ostensibly for a recount, sending money there even after the Republican candidate conceded. The Walker campaign made transfers to the claimed recount fund that make it seem as though the designations were meant to avoid requirements to return funds to donors that pass certain legal limits, and some of the campaign’s leftover money could be used for future endeavors like a leadership PAC of the sort Trump set up in his Save America PAC, so there’s apparently a possibility here of the Walker campaign using money it shouldn’t legally hold to nonetheless fund future ambitions. The Walker campaign also dumped money elsewhere after the election, The Daily Beast noted, providing Walker family friend Michelle Beagle with $127,500 after the race was over for what was described as “logistics consulting,” whatever that even means.

Before that point, a spokesperson for the failed candidate had described Beagle’s role with the campaign as that of a volunteer — although volunteers don’t normally get pay-outs in six figures! As for the money designated for a recount that never happened, actual federal rules demand that money set aside for that purpose be returned to donors within roughly two months once the recount possibility is abandoned. The Daily Beast cites a couple of examples that make the Walker campaign’s apparent ambitions for the so-called recount fund clear. On the day of the election in the runoff race, one donor gave $3,000, which was $100 above the max for that election — and roughly a week and a half later, $100 went to the recount fund. The Walker campaign also designated part of the value of what is known as an in-kind contribution that came in the form of an early December 2022 trip on a private jet of Rick Scott’s as for the recount, which is obviously, well, extremely illogical.

Walker is, of course, hardly the only prominent Republican facing serious questions about the legitimacy and legality of his fundraising. George Santos, the infamous first-term Republican Congressman in New York, seems to have reported donations in the 2020 election cycle (in which he lost) from sources where the funds didn’t actually originate, including claimed residents of New Jersey whose address doesn’t exist and whose names don’t match any records in the U.S. that Mother Jones could find and an associate of Santos himself who indicated he didn’t make the additional campaign donations reported in his name. Knowingly accepting a campaign donation with false personal details attached is a crime.