Mercers played bigger role in 2020 election than thought, giving $20 million to dark-money fund

6 days ago
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Robert Mercer and Rebekah Mercer be the 2017 TIME 100 Gala astatine Jazz astatine Lincoln Center connected April 25, 2017 successful New York City.

Patrick McMullan | Getty Images

The affluent household led by blimpish megadonors Robert and Rebekah Mercer, whose wealth helped propel Donald Trump to triumph successful 2016, invested astir $20 cardinal past twelvemonth into a GOP-friendly acheronian wealth money that allows donors to support concealed the eventual destination of their contributions.

The Mercers' donation, delivered done their household foundation, went to the Donors Trust, according to a caller 990 disclosure form. The hefty publication reveals that the Mercers played a overmuch bigger relation successful financing groups during the 2020 predetermination than antecedently known.

The Donors Trust takes the wealth it receives and funnels it to groups of their donors' choosing. It does not legally person to publically disclose who is giving to their radical oregon wherever financiers targeted their donations.

It isn't wide wherever the Mercers directed the Donors Trust to nonstop their money. The Mercer Family Foundation finished the twelvemonth with conscionable implicit $45 cardinal worthy of assets, according to the 990 form.

Some caller contributions to the Donors Trust person gone toward groups that pushed claims of predetermination fraud earlier and aft President Joe Biden defeated Trump successful past year's election. In 2019, the Donors Trust, sent donations to groups specified arsenic Turning Point USA, which is led by vocal Trump protagonist Charlie Kirk; and the VDARE Foundation, which the Southern Poverty Law Center labeled a hatred group.

Before the 2020 election, Trump warned without grounds that the predetermination was astatine hazard of monolithic elector fraud. Since losing to Biden, Trump has continued to falsely assertion that the predetermination was stolen from him. Officials from some sides of the governmental spectrum, including former Trump Attorney General William Barr, person said determination was nary wide elector fraud and Biden won the predetermination just and square.

Robert Mercer, and his 3 daughters, Rebekah, Jennifer and Heather, are each directors of their household foundation. In the buildup to the election, CNBC reported that the Mercers had opted to region themselves from Trump and Republican enactment aft they were scrutinized for helping to bankroll the New York existent property magnate and world TV star's palmy tally for president successful 2016.

The Mercers gave precise small straight to campaigns past predetermination cycle. Data from the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics shows that neither Rebekah nor Robert Mercer, 2 of the bigger GOP donors successful the family, were successful the apical 100 governmental donors during the 2019-2020 span.

The Mercers' large publication successful 2020 to the Donors Trust, a 501(c)(3), allows them to marque specified a donation without having to publically disclose precisely which extracurricular groups they funded that year.

Rebekah Mercer is simply a cardinal financier for Parler, a societal media institution that has been an outlet for Trump allies to propulsion mendacious claims that the predetermination was rigged against the erstwhile president.

Representatives for Rebekah and Robert Mercer did not instrumentality requests for comment.

In 2019, the Donors Trust raised implicit $300 cardinal and distributed conscionable implicit $160 cardinal successful grants. A spokesperson for the radical said their 2020 forms won't beryllium disposable to the nationalist until aboriginal this year.

Records amusement that the Mercer foundation's 2020 publication to Donors Trust is their largest donation done their nonprofit since astatine slightest 2016, when they springiness a akin magnitude to assorted blimpish extracurricular groups.

Last year, extracurricular of the donation to Donors Trust, the caller 990 signifier shows that the lone different publication the instauration made was $9,000 to the American Association for Aerosol Research, a nonprofit that touts sponsors specified arsenic NASA and 3M.

The caller 990 besides gives a glimpse into the Mercers' idiosyncratic finances.

According to the disclosure, the instauration says it made astatine slightest $30 cardinal disconnected of transactions of assets done an entity identified connected the signifier arsenic the Medallion fund. Robert Mercer stepped down successful 2017 from being co-CEO of the hedge money Renaissance Technologies, which has a money with an identical name.

Institutional Investor reported earlier this twelvemonth that Renaissance Technologies Medallion money had 1 of its champion years ever successful 2020, surging 76%. The quality outlet reported the Medallion money is lone disposable to existent and erstwhile employees of Renaissance Technologies.

The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this month that existent and erstwhile executives astatine Renaissance Technologies, including Robert Mercer, volition wage arsenic overmuch arsenic $7 cardinal successful backmost taxes, penalties and involvement to settee a quality with the Internal Revenue Service.