Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Following the Money to Dark Places With the Stink of Trump

Abby Zimet

Photo by Peter Van Agtmael/ Magnum for Time Magazine

It seems the veterans of the Great Capitol Insurrection, high and low, are not faring well. Scores of rioters have been and continue to be arrested, many moronically incriminating themselves en route - with their "Murder the Media" t-shirts, their selfie videos proclaiming Trump needs to "fire the bat signal" and "death is the only remedy" for lawmakers, their getting booted from airplanes for yelling "Trump 2020!" and their admissions they were in "a fit of rage" on that now-murky day after unsuccessfully trying to flee to non-extradicting Switzerland. Their slimy Fuhrer, meanwhile, is daily being proved guilty of fomenting it all. Investigations by both Bloomberg and Open Secrets have found that Trump's campaign and assorted cronies not only paid over $2.7 million to individuals and firms that organized the pre-riot rally, but that they likely worked with dark money groups and shell companies to illegaly launder their respective funds. According to Open Secrets, the full extent of Trump campaign ties to the riot is still unknown; thanks to opaque practices around campaign finance laws, FEC disclosures only provide "a snapshot" of campaign payments that are further hidden by being routed through shell companies - at least one of which was set up by Jared Kushner - "making it difficult to know who the campaign paid and when." In other words, grifters gonna grift, which is why many are urging further investigations in order to #ProsecuteThemAll.

What's known to date: At least eight people listed on the rally permit granted by the National Park Service worked for Trump’s  campaign. They include Maggie Mulvaney, niece of Mick, whose title is director of finance operations and who's listed as the rally's “VIP Lead.” Rally personnel also listed on the permit include “VIP Advisor,” operations associate, production manager and stage manager - the latter two roles filled by the owners of Event Strategies Inc., the largest recipient of Trump campaign funds with a payday of $1.7 million. Thus begins a tangled web of ongoing dealings with dark entities like America First Policies and  American Made Media Consultants LLC, Trump's spending clearinghouse, which routed over $759 million to as-yet-unknown recipients. With the riot's ominous backstory still emerging, Dems on the Senate Finance Committee have begun asking the IRS to investigate the tax-exempt status of dark money groups involved in rally planning, part of a larger probe into tax-exempt groups. That spotlight on Trump et al will only get brighter in the lead-up to a Senate impeachment trial slated for Feb. 9. It probably didn't help when Chuck Schumer, providing comic relief with an inadvertent, smirking self-own, declared Trump must be held accountable for inciting "the erection." Cue bad puns about uprisings, hard-hitting analysis, and sedition that cannot stand. This trial outta be...something.

Clubbing Capitol police. Getty Image

Thugs in Pelosi's office. New York Times photo.

More phallic flagpoles. Reuters photo.


Abby Zimet

Abby Zimet

Abby has written CD's Further column since 2008. A longtime, award-winning journalist, she moved to the Maine woods in the early 70s, where she spent a dozen years building a house, hauling water and writing before moving to Portland. Having come of political age during the Vietnam War, she has long been involved in women's, labor, anti-war, social justice and refugee rights issues. 

'Stop Line 5': Valve Turner Forces Shutdown of Enbridge Oil Pipeline in Michigan

"We are here to protect the water, land, and air that support all life, including our own. Line 5 poses an immediate threat to our lives and these actions are taken out of necessity and in self-defense."

Jessica Corbett ·


'Delay Is the New Denial': Study Confirms 99.9% of Scientists Agree on Climate

"It's pretty much case closed for any meaningful public conversation about the reality of human-caused climate change."

Brett Wilkins ·


Exposed: How Pfizer Exploits Secretive Vaccine Contracts to Strong-Arm Governments

"Pfizer has used its monopoly on a lifesaving vaccine to extract concessions from desperate governments," said the report's author, urging action from the Biden administration.

Jessica Corbett ·


'A Toxic Presence in the Party': Ocasio-Cortez Joins Calls for Jay Jacobs to Resign

"India Walton is the Democratic nominee for mayor of Buffalo. No amount of racist misogyny from the old boys' club is going to change that."

Brett Wilkins ·


New Multimedia Report Details Unprecedented 'Permian Climate Bomb' in Texas

"If the Biden Administration wants to be serious about its promise to demonstrate U.S. climate leadership, it must first clean up its own backyard."

Kenny Stancil ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo