To most of us, Kanye West”;s short-lived presidential run was just one more sideshow to the existing circus surrounding everything former President Donald Trump touched in 2020.
West was largely dismissed, and some even felt that perhaps he was going through a mental health crisis and tried to simply look the other way at much of what he said and did, dismissing it as symptoms of an illness.
But either way, it has come to light that West”;s run as a supposed “;independent”; was in actuality funded by an underground group of Republican political operatives, according to The Daily Beast, and West”;s campaign failed to report it. That could be a violation of federal laws.
It”;s not known if West was aware of his connection to GOP operatives or not.
At the center of the newfound documents is the law firm Holtzman Vogel, where Virginia state Sen. Jill Holtzman Vogel works as a managing partner. Holtzman played a prominent role in spreading allegations of voter fraud in the 2020 election. The firm is recognized as a “;heavy hitter” for Republicans, according to Facing South.
Paul S. Ryan, vice president of government watchdog Common Cause, tells The Daily Beast the findings about West”;s campaign are “;a big deal.”;
“;The importance of disclosure in this matter can”;t be overstated,”; Ryan told The Daily Beast. “;It”;s no secret that Kanye West”;s candidacy would have a spoiler effect, siphoning votes from Democrat Joe Biden. Voters had a right to know that a high-powered Republican lawyer was providing legal services to Kanye–;and federal law requires disclosure of such legal work.”;
The Daily Beast shared the court filings and FEC data with several government watchdog groups and experts and the conclusion is that West”;s campaign and those involved in it were covert in their association with him, and clearly showed serious “;red flags.”;
“;It”;s very clear that the whole point behind Kanye”;s campaign was to try to re-elect Donald Trump. Whether that was a goal of Kanye is another issue. But he was clearly seen as a way to steal potential votes from Biden,”; Jordan Libowitz, communications director for Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington told The Daily Beast.
But all roads appear to return to Jill Vogel. Documents reveal dozens of emails and texts, and a multimillion-dollar breach of contract lawsuit directed at West and his campaign consultants filed in Texas state court.
The suit was filed by SeedX, alleging that they didn”;t get paid for campaign work, merch, website build, and more. The case was eventually dismissed, citing incorrect jurisdiction. Vogel advised West in the suit but discreetly kept her name out of the suit.
Libowitz tells The Daily Beast Vogel may have wanted to keep her name off of filings to minimize “;any embarrassment that may come with being publicly affiliated with the trainwreck that was the Kanye campaign,”; but added that “;it”;s also likely that she did not want people to know that a Republican operative was behind his campaign.”;
According to The Daily Beast, Vogel was essentially the center of West”;s campaign.
Whether or not West was aware of what his campaign was doing or not remains unclear. But Libowitz says the firms he was working with are seriously connected to the GOP and of the dozens of firms, most were behind promoting bogus 2020 election fraud claims. “;It”;s pretty clear Kanye was a GOP plant, whether he knew it or not,”; Libowitz adds.
“;Voters have a right to know where political money is coming from and where it is going. But the Kanye 2020 campaign”;s FEC reports didn”;t give much insight into who was actually working for the candidate,”; Brendan Fischer, a director of federal reform at the Campaign Legal Center who reviewed the court and FEC records, tells The Daily Beast.
As Reuters first reported, West”;s publicist Trevin Kutti paid a visit to a Georgia election worker, pressuring her to confess to the alleged voter fraud the grandmother was falsely accused of, or she”;d be targeted with more visits to her home and she could go to jail.
In August of 2020, The New York Times published a story about who was “;helping”; West. According to Daily Kos writer Hunter, there didn”;t seem to be any Republican effort to hide that it was a scheme to help Trump win. And if we know West and his undying support for the former president, he may not have been in on the joke, but he does seem to be the butt of it. The only good news is that even with all of the conniving and machinations, Trump lost–;whether he believes it or not.
Read more: dailykos.com