On May 28, 2020, Vice President Mike Pence listened to the briefing in the Oval Office of the White House.
Brendan Smyalowski | AFP | Getty Images
Vice President Mike Pence’s long-term donors and business allies have provided a legal fund to help Indiana Republicans defend themselves in the investigation of Russia by special counsel Robert Mueller defend.
According to the Vice President’s latest financial disclosure report, the fund was established by his former chief of staff, Jim Atterholt, and spent nearly $480,000 in 2019 for Pence’s legal counsel.
The document was originally published by the government regulator “Citizens and Ethics Citizens Organization” on Tuesday in Washington. The document shows that the fund was used for “Michael R. Pence (the only beneficiary) in the 2016 presidential election and related matters.” The document stated that Penny did not collect any donations.
The United States reported today that during Mueller’s investigation into whether Russia intervened in the 2016 election, Pence’s allies were using the funds to help pay for the vice president’s lawyers’ fees. Last year’s report did not say who gave the organization. At the time, Pence hired Richard Cullen, a partner at McGuireWoods.
However, the newly released documents reveal for the first time the people who funded the defense operations. Those who donated to the fund have a history of supporting political groups connected with pennies themselves.
Atterholt, who organized the work, said he created the fund because he didn’t think Pence had the financial capacity to pay his lawyers’ fees.
Atholt said in an email to CNBC: “I believe the vice president is a decent and glorious person, but he is not a rich person. The reason I started to trust is because I believe in important legal fees It should not be the cost of public services.”.
A penny spokesman declined to comment, and Coulen deferred any questions about his work to the vice president’s office.
One of the donors listed in the table is Penny’s long-term political adviser Martin Obst, who donated $20,000.
Herbert Simon, co-founder of shopping center developer Simon Property Group, is also one of the donors. He also owns the NBA Indiana Pacers basketball team. According to the National Institute of Political and Monetary Data, Simon donated $100,000 to the fund and donated at least $15,000 to Pence’s successful 2012 Indiana governor campaign. According to the nonpartisan response to the political center, Simon also made large contributions to the Democrats, who had previously contributed to the congressional campaign of Pence’s brother Greg Pence.
Ronald Weiser, a supporter of the Pence Defense Fund, is a $50,000 supporter and the founder of McKinley Inc., a Michigan company. Two years before donating to the fund, Weiser donated $200,000 to the pro-Trump super PAC.
Executives of the investment company Western National Group, Michael Hayde and Laura Khouri, donated $200,000 to the Defense Fund. According to the Orange County Register, in the 2020 election cycle, they had previously donated millions of dollars to Republicans. Hyde last year provided $2,800 to Trump’s re-election, which is the highest amount that individuals can donate directly to the campaign.
None of the donors mentioned in this story requested comment.