Tech mogul Peter Thiel has reportedly been luring some unlikely Republican donors with unconventional pitches, according to a new report.
The PayPal co-founder and early Facebook investor has given $10 million of his own money to a super PAC supporting GOP Senate candidate Blake Masters, with whom he created a non-fungible token (NFT) that raised another half-million dollars, and $10 million to a super PAC for J.D. Vance, the venture capitalist and author of "Hillbilly Elegy," reported Politico.
“He’s a well-known business leader, a well-known thought leader for political conservatives, and he’s also I think a very influential person in the crypto community,” Vance said, “and so I think all three of those [groups of] people are just interested in what he has to say, and I think that makes his support very helpful.”
The cash has been coming from largely apolitical Silicon Valley types or "crypto bros," as one person described them, who aren't typical GOP donors, and candidates in other races are trying to attract Thiel's attention.
According to Politico, the billionaire has held three closed-door fundraisers, where donors bid thousands of dollars through Twitter raffles for a chance to eat dinner with Thiel, on behalf of Masters and Vance.
The dinners are intimate affairs in private rooms at upscale restaurants, and the conversations cover topics from the 2016 and 2020 elections to China, cryptocurrency, robotics and UFOs, and sometimes touch on "deepfakes" or Jeffrey Epstein.
“[Donors] want to get to know [Thiel], they want to understand what makes him tick, they want to understand who he is and spend time with him,” said Lanhee Chen, a candidate for state controller in California who has met with Thiel.
'Time to spill blood': FBI arrests Texas man for threatening to 'exterminate' Georgia election officials
A Texas man was arrested by the Department of Justice this Friday, charging him with threatening election and other government officials in Georgia. As The Washington Post points out, it's the first arrest for a recently created task force to deal with such threats.
Prosecutors say that Chad Christopher Stark posted a message on Craigslist in January of last year saying it was “time to kill” election officials. The official was not named in court documents.
“Georgia Patriots it’s time for us to take back our state from these Lawless treasonous traitors. It’s time to invoke our Second Amendment right it’s time to put a bullet in the treasonous Chinese [Official A]. Then we work our way down to [Official B] the local and federal corrupt judges,” Stark wrote, according to the indictment.
Georgia election officials have been hit especially hard with threats from supporters of Donald Trump after they refused to back the former President's bogus claims of election fraud.
The indictment says Stark named three government officials.
“It’s our duty as American Patriots to put an end to the lives of these traitors and take back our country by force we can no longer wait on the corrupt law enforcement in the corrupt courts. If we want our country back we have to exterminate these people,” he allegedly wrote. “One good loyal Patriot deer hunter in camo and a rifle can send a very clear message to these corrupt governors. militia up Georgia it’s time to spill blood . . . we need to pay a visit to [Official C] and her family as well and put a bullet her behind the ears."
The case is the first case brought by the DOJ's special task force since it was launched in June.
“The Justice Department has a responsibility not only to protect the right to vote, but also to protect those who administer our voting systems from violence and illegal threats of violence,” said Attorney General Garland in a news release. “The department’s Election Threats Task Force, working with partners across the country, will hold accountable those who violate federal law by using violence or threatening violence to target election workers fulfilling their public duties.”
Read the full report over at The Washington Post.
RNC paying $1.6 million in Trump’s legal fees — but he’s going to get stuck with a big tax bill: expert
The "highly unusual" move by the Republican National Committee to pay $1.6 million in Donald Trump's legal bills has personal tax implications for the former, a watchdog group argued on Friday.
"Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) today sent Donald Trump a letter to remind him that he will need to pay taxes on any money the Republican National Committee spends to cover his legal bills," the watchdog group wrote. "As these are Trump’s personal legal expenses arising from his personal businesses, any dollar the RNC spends on covering Trump is taxable income for him under the law."
The scandal over the RNC paying for Trump's legal bills has already cost the support of one former big donor.
“Trump is facing so many legal issues that it’s important he remembers that not paying taxes on this income could cause him to face even more," said CREW President Noah Bookbinder. “Tax evasion is a serious crime–it’s what finally sent Al Capone to prison. Given the litany of laws Donald Trump has apparently violated, we thought it helpful to give him a reminder before he violates another one.”