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HomePoliticsPro-Trump group crowdfunds legal defense as it faces Jan. 6 probe

Pro-Trump group crowdfunds legal defense as it faces Jan. 6 probe

In this Jan. 6, 2021 file photo Amy Kremer, Chairwoman of Women for America First, speaks in Washington, at a rally in support of President Donald Trump.Jacquelyn Martin | APA pro-Trump group that helped organize a rally that preceded the deadly Jan. 6 riot on Capitol Hill is raising money for a legal defense fund through a platform that calls itself the “#1 Free Christian Crowdfunding Site.”Women for America First says the fund is intended to help finance its legal battle with the House select committee that is investigating the insurrection. Amy Kremer and Kylie Jane Kremer, two leaders of the group, were subpoenaed by the House committee, according to letters dated Sept. 29. The group was one of the main architects of the rally in front of the White House that preceded the attack on the Capitol, as CNBC previously reported. Then-President Donald Trump spoke at the rally and encouraged his supporters to march on the Capitol. The group has denounced the violence on Jan. 6. Amy Kremer has claimed that “there was no insurrection” that day.Donations to the fund go directly to Women for America First “to cover legal fees and travel to D.C.,” according to the fundraising page. The group is raising money through Give Send Go, which promotes itself as the top free Christian crowdsourcing website.The fundraising goal is $200,000. So far, the site says it has raised just over $15,000 in at least 11 days.CNBC PoliticsRead more of CNBC’s politics coverage:The two subpoena letters called on Amy Kremer and Kylie Jane Kremer to produce documents by Oct. 13 and to appear for a deposition on Oct. 29. It’s unclear whether the two leaders of the group have cooperated with the Committee. A spokesman for the Jan. 6 committee declined to comment.The Women for America First’s legal fund fundraising page also gives insight into what they say are specific requests from the committee.”The committee has requested THOUSANDS of documents from November 1, 2020 until now regarding our Stop The Steal rallies, March for Trump bus tours and our three massive DC rallies (11/14, 12/12 & 1/6), in addition to testifying before them,” the page says.”They are asking for every document and communication for roughly 12 months with our team regarding two bus tours, our three big events in DC and events all across the country, etc,” the fundraising page adds.Pro-Trump protesters gather in front of the U.S. Capitol Building on January 6, 2021 in Washington, DC.Jon Cherry | Getty ImagesRepresentatives for Women for America First and Give Send Go did not return requests for comment.Women for America First is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit group that is not required to publicly disclose its donors. Yet the crowdfunding campaign lists several donors’ names, including those that have ties to Trump, his reelection campaign or members of his administration. Michael Caputo, who has been close to Trump for years and worked for a time as a spokesman for the Trump-era Department of Health and Human Services, contributed $50 to the fund. Caputo confirmed to CNBC he was the donor.”I’ve known Amy Kremer since her days co-founding the Tea Party movement and I know her to be a good and decent person, which makes her a prime target for the worms burrowed deep into the wood of our broken Congress and Department of Justice,” Caputo said in a text message to CNBC on Tuesday.There is a donation of up to $1,000 credited to a person named Doug Fabick. A construction equipment CEO with the same name previously contributed to Trump’s reelection campaign and the Republican National Committee, according to data from the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics.Fabick did not respond to CNBC’s requests for comment when asked to verify if he was, in fact, the contributor.A person named Jim Hoft donated $100, according to the site. His name matches that of the founder of the Gateway Pundit, a conservative website that features a pro-Trump news section.Hoft has launched a project called “American Gulag,” which is described as a way “to provide sunshine and publicity to the scores of political prisoners wrongfully imprisoned as a result of the protest on January 6th.” Hoft is also raising money to help those who have been arrested following the Capitol riot. He is also using the Give Send Go crowdfunding platform.”We are raising money for the families of the Jan. 6 political prisoners,” the Hoft donation page reads. “Any amount raised over and above the amount needed for our investigations will be applied to legal fees and other expenses incurred.” So far, the Hoft-backed fundraising effort has brought in just over $28,000 with the goal of raising $50,000.Hoft did not respond to a request for comment through his official Gateway Pundit contact page.U.S. President Donald Trump gestures as he speaks during a rally to contest the certification of the 2020 U.S. presidential election results by the U.S. Congress, in Washington, U.S, January 6, 2021.Jim Bourg | Reuters

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