Caroline Wren, who had worked on the Trump campaign, told the House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on Congress and the attempt to overthrow the 2020 election that she never really tried to raise money for the rally, it just happened.
The testimony is a treasure trove of information about the inner workings of the Trump finance operation and how the political staff really viewed some of those working for Trump after he lost in 2020.
An Oct. 18, 2021 report from ProPublica revealed Wren boasted to Republican operative Dustin Stockton that she'd raised $3 million to support the Jan. 6 rally.
"She also described how she had 'parked' unspecified amounts of money for Jan. 6 at an arm of the Republican Attorneys General Association, at the Tea Party Express and at Turning Point, a collection of affiliated nonprofits that serve young Republicans," the report said.
"For me, I don't recall ever soliciting funds during that time," she testified to Congress. "Like I wasn't raising money from donors to go into any sort of like account or the RNC — like the Trump campaign — I'm not really sure how that would've worked, if the campaign could still solicit funds after the election. I know there were — you could still technically, like, I guess, give to the RNC, but it may have still been Trump Victory, too, as a term, but I wasn't involved in doing that."
"With the exception of in March 2020 to November of 2020, I went in-house with the Trump campaign. So I didn't have outside clients outside of the Trump campaign for that duration of time," Wren said.
The committee asked: "And would that have been Trump Victory Finance Committee?"
"That's a good question. I don't actually know," Wren said about who paid and employed her. "Trump Victory was the joint fundraising committee between Donald J. Trump for President and the Republican National Committee. I believe that my salary was just Donald J. Trump for President."
"Okay. So, to your knowledge, were you employed by Trump Victory Finance Committee?" the committee asked.
Wren: "Trump Victory Finance Committee was not — was the name of the finance committee. So like the person who employed me, I believe was Donald J. Trump for President, Inc."
She went on to say that she was never the finance director as would be in a traditional campaign, instead she was called "senior adviser to Kimberly Guilfoyle and national finance adviser." When asked who she reported to it was Guilfoyle, who was the "finance chair."
Wren explained that "there were three different buckets" of fundraising cash. "There was a legal fund. There was a State party fund, and so that's where that number increased by time as they added different State parties into it. And then the other fund was — there was one other. And that total ended up being $817,600" as the maximum a donor could give. "So if people were giving in a large amount, really over $250,000 or $500,000, like that legal fund was always a talking point that came from within. Now the waterfall would move as to where the legal fund would be at times. And I never really — it was a little bit confusing as to where that would be, but it was certainly a big talking point that I would give to donors from 2017 all the way till November 2020, would be, you know, we're going to be prepared and we have a legal fund."
It meant that all the way from 2017 to 2020 the campaign was raising a legal defense fund for the campaign.
She went on to tell the committee that donors would call her and say, "'I just saw Sidney Powell on FOX News and I gave $250,000 on her website.' And I didn't understand who she was, what was going — and so I was worried about money being wasted and going places, and these people were wanting to give in good faith. And I did not understand where — like what these entities were and where that money would go."
She said that she would conduct what she called "donor maintenance," which was talking to the campaign's largest donors and giving them updates and information on what was happening.
"But I wasn't, I would say, during that time ever really like actively soliciting funds for anything. I was just more talking with them about their thoughts and trying to relay information, just things that were ongoing at that time," Wren said.
She clarified that when she said, "Entities," she meant lawyers like Rudy Giuliani and Powell.
Julie Fancelli, an American heiress of the Publix grocery store fortune, offered $3 million to fund Jan. 6. Wren told the committee that she had never met Fancelli before the millionaire pitched to pay a huge chunk of the money for Jan 6.
At one point Fancelli was meeting with Wren and asked her assistant to call Alex Jones to gather the information on who was organizing the Jan. 6 event. That's when Jones named Cindy Chafian as the person to talk to. Wren went on to trash Sidney Powell, Chafian and both Amy and Kylie Kremer for being fools. "Neither of these organizations should receive $3 million without any oversight," Wren said. At one point she told Trump's Jan. 6 organizer, Katrina Pierson, that she would pay $25,000 so she didn't have to deal with the Kremers because they were so awful to deal with. Kremer is one of the many far-right activists with ties to Ginni Thomas.
Fancelli also was the one who flew Roger Stone on a private jet to Washington. She was going to attend, Wren said, but decided at the last minute not to. She simply sent the jet to pick up all of the Proud Boys and deliver them to DC in style.
In another piece of her testimony, Wren reveals that Kimberly Guilfoyle, former Fox personality and now live-in girlfriend to Donald Trump Jr. refused to talk to Fancelli on behalf of the campaign. She demanded a $60,000 speaking fee for an event where she wasn't even speaking.
"You will send me the funds as promised," Wren says Guilfoyle told her, "and I'm going to deal with all these people. What an F'ing joke." Wren told her it wasn't fair and she had no intention of paying Guilfoyle for a speaking engagement where Guilfoyle isn't speaking, is refusing to allow them to publicize, "and not to mention I got humiliated in the process by these assh*les."
"This poor woman [Fancelli] has donated $1 million to Don [Jr's] Senate PAC and $3 million to this rally and you can't take five minutes out of your day to thank her. It's so humiliating and then you have the audacity to ask me why I won't have her pay you $60,000?" said Wren.