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Republican Megadonor Mercer Household Weighs Backing Trump As They Preserve Large Warfare Chest

Robert Mercer and Rebekah Mercer attend the 2017 TIME 100 Gala at Jazz at Lincoln Middle on April 25, 2017 in New York Metropolis.

Sean Zanni | Patrick Mcmullan | Getty Photos

One of many Republican Celebration’s most influential households could come off the sidelines to financially help Donald Trump‘s latest White House run, after years of distancing themselves from him, according to people familiar with the matter.

Robert Mercer and his daughter, Rebekah, have not yet made a final decision on whether they’ll publicly again Trump, these folks mentioned. However the Mercers stay pleasant with key gamers in Trump’s orbit, together with former senior counselor Kellyanne Conway, in response to among the folks, who spoke on the situation of anonymity to share particulars of the pondering of the notoriously non-public Mercer household.

The Mercers gave tens of millions to a brilliant PAC and different efforts to spice up Trump in 2016, earlier than very noticeably stepping again round 2018.

A consultant for the Mercer household didn’t return a request for remark.

As they weigh their choices on whether or not to become involved with serving to Trump once more, the Mercer household has a virtually unparalleled non-public battle chest able to be deployed.

The Mercers got here into the pivotal 2024 presidential election cycle with simply greater than $88 million stashed away of their non-public nonprofit, the Mercer Household Basis.

In the event that they determine to fund efforts to help Trump, like they did throughout the 2016 election, this cash might present vital sources for influential conservative political causes, in response to consultants who reviewed the paperwork.

“The Mercer Family Foundation is sitting on a huge endowment that can—and likely will—be directed towards pushing politics and policy to the extreme right,” Brendan Fischer, a deputy govt director at particular pursuits watchdog Documented, instructed CNBC after he reviewed the group’s 990 tax return. 

The $88.4 million that the inspiration amassed on the finish of 2022 was partially attributable to a sale final 12 months of greater than $20 million in publicly traded securities and different holdings, in response to the 990 tax types reviewed by CNBC. The money it had coming into 2023 was barely down from a 12 months earlier, as the inspiration began final 12 months with simply over $96 million.

Robert Mercer, who was the co-CEO of hedge fund Renaissance Applied sciences, donated simply over $6 million to the inspiration in 2021, in response to the group’s tax information from that 12 months. Although the inspiration is solely funded by the Mercers, there have been no donations made by the household to the group final 12 months, in response to the brand new paperwork.

The Mercers have a historical past of supporting conservative causes, together with turning into half homeowners of the conservative information website Breitbart.

Whereas the Mercers have largely disappeared from public view since serving to Trump win in 2016, they’ve continued to attempt to wield affect in Republican political circles with their cash, together with by way of the household basis.

Final 12 months they gave $31 million to the DonorsTrust, a 501(c)(3) donor advisory fund that funnels cash to typically right-leaning causes on behalf of its purchasers. This was essentially the most the Mercer Household Basis has ever recorded giving to any group by way of its charity group, in response to knowledge from ProPublica’s database.

Rebekah Mercer was an investor within the now shuttered Parler that was alleged to be a social media area for conservative voices.

She can be a reported co-founder and investor of 1789 Capital, a monetary agency run by Wall Avenue veteran Omeed Malik that led a $15 million seed spherical into a brand new media firm owned by former Fox Information host Tucker Carlson and his longtime enterprise associate Neil Patel, in response to the New York Put up and The Wall Avenue Journal.

Rebekah Mercer can be a part of a coalition of Republican donors referred to as the Rockbridge Community, which incorporates fellow GOP financier Peter Thiel, in response to The New York Instances.

Billionaires Robert Mercer and his daughter Rebekah attend the twelfth Worldwide Convention on Local weather Change hosted by The Heartland Institute on March 23, 2017 in Washington, D.C.

Oliver Contreras | The Washington Put up | Getty Photos

Specialists who reviewed the tax paperwork say that the household might donate as a lot as they need from their basis’s property to politically centered organizations that would affect the upcoming election.

Shanna Ports, senior authorized counsel for the watchdog Marketing campaign Authorized Middle, instructed CNBC in a press release after reviewing the 990 that, despite the fact that 501(c)(3) charities are barred from “directly intervening in elections or supporting candidates,” such organizations “can still undertake a range of activities that impact elections.”

That features funding voter registration and get-out-the-vote drives, financing litigation efforts, taking positions on public coverage points, making contributions to fund down-ballot measure committees or aiding with packages run by way of extra politically engaged nonprofit teams that do not need to publicly record the names of their donors, in response to Ports.

“A charity like the Mercer Family Foundation, with over $88 million at its disposal, could have an outsized impact on the 2024 election by participating in those sorts of activities,” Ports instructed CNBC.

Contributors to the DonorsTrust, for example, have their cash funneled to desired causes, with out the general public ever figuring out the unique supply of the funds because it doesn’t publicly disclose the names of its donors. The conservative-leaning FreedomWorks, the State Coverage Community, the Constitutional Protection Fund and Mission Veritas all obtained funds final 12 months by way of DonorsTrust, in response to the Middle for Media and Democracy.

In 2021, the Mercer household donated just below $6 million to DonorsTrust, in accordance their tax information from that 12 months. In 2020, the 12 months of the pivotal election that noticed Joe Biden defeat Trump, the Mercer basis gave round $20 million to DonorsTrust.

The DonorsTrust raised greater than $300 million final 12 months and lists an nameless $31 million contribution on its 2022 990 types, which could possibly be from the Mercer household. It’s the third-highest donation listed on DonorsTrust’s most up-to-date tax information.

Among the high recipients from DonorsTrust in 2022 have been the identical conservative teams that the Mercer basis has beforehand funded. DonorsTrust doled out greater than $240 million in grants final 12 months alone, in response to its tax information.

These teams that obtained tens of millions from DonorsTrust final 12 months embrace $7.9 million to the Oregon Institute of Science and Medication, a nonprofit that rebukes the concept there may be man-made local weather change. DonorsTrust final 12 months additionally gave $1.5 million to the Authorities Accountability Institute, a corporation co-founded by longtime Mercer ally Steve Bannon and chaired by Rebekah Mercer herself.

The Authorities Accountability Institute is liable for a litany of politically pushed investigations. It was concerned with probes of Hillary and Invoice Clinton that led to the e-book by the group’s president, Peter Schweizer, referred to as “Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich.”

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Emma Johnson

Emma Johnson is a passionate and talented article writer with a flair for captivating storytelling. With a keen eye for detail and a knack for research, she weaves compelling narratives that leave readers wanting more. When she's not crafting words, Emma enjoys exploring new cuisines and honing her photography skills.

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