Federal sex crime investigations do not pay.
That seems to be a lesson learned — among many — since the year that Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) believed.
After two dizzying fundraising quarters to start 2021, his campaign committee, Friends of Matt Gaetz, ended up with a loss of $94,838.65 for the year, according to a report. report filed Monday with the Federal Election Commission.
Those first six months saw record fundraising for a three-term Republican, and would likely have been a typical year without the investigation, which is examining whether Gaetz had sex trafficking. Are not a 17 year old girlillegal pay for sex, obstruction of justice, violation of the Mann . Actand play a role in political influence campaign accused of corruption—And also, is his campaign break the rules in furthering any possible crime.
All told, the Gaetz campaign cost more than a million dollars in costs last year related to the investigation and related incidents – more than one in five dollars raised during the same period. And although Gaetz’s campaign ended the year with more than $1.5 million in the bank, it is highly unusual for a congressman to spend more money in a non-election year compared to the amount that the campaign has put in place. translation obtained.
When asked to comment, Gaetz pointed to Commitment in 2020 does not accept funds with special interest rates.
“I am the only Republican in Congress who does not accept money from lobbyists or PACs. I rely entirely on donations averaging around $38. HBO made a movie about it called ‘The Swamp,'” Gaetz said, referring to a documentary documenting the relationships of Gaetz and other Republicans in Washington.
(On Monday, the Trump campaign announced average donation is $31 over the past six months.)
As for Gaetz’s legal troubles, more than $100,000 of his campaign disbursements for the year went to an attorney. That’s significantly more than the $73,515 total that the campaign has paid in legal fees since the Florida man’s first congressional bid in 2016. (That 2021 total will be over $130,000, but one company returned the retainer $25,000 after cutting ties with the campaign over the summer in unclear cases.)
In fact, Friends of Matt Gaetz paid more than four years ago total for a lawyer this year alone—$75,000 for Marc Fernich, who has represent Convicted sex traffickers Jeffrey Epstein and Keith Raniere, as well as robber John Gotti and drug lord Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán were jailed. Fernich pocketed $50,000 in cash for the campaign last quarter.
However, a former lawyer for Gaetz seems to retain a degree of confidence in the Republican minions. On May 15 of this year, troublesome porn lawyer, neo-fascist defenderand Alex Jones Sandy Hook defamation attorney Marc Randazza — who received 2,000 dollars from Gaetz’s campaign in 2018 — apparently replaced Gaetz in response to a Twitter comment about a congressman possibly misusing public funds to buy drugs.
“He is worth hundreds of millions of dong from the family. If he even pays for coke, I don’t see him as abusing taxpayer money,” said Randazza, who was represent far-right conspiracy theorist Mike Cernovich, tweeted.
But while Fernich may boast a deep expertise in sex crimes, he has no experience in campaign finance law. And the campaign, with its accounting under the microscope, spent a lot on compliance fees.
From July to the end of September, the campaign paid about $85,000 to a company for campaign financial services, far exceeding those costs any other reported. Last quarter’s fees were less but still low – $55,000.
And while Gaetz’s public relations costs have dropped dramatically since the brutal first weeks after news of the investigation broke last spring, they still make up a fraction of the annual total. of the campaign. His soon-to-be-started firm, Logan Circle Group, raised about $850,000 in advertising and PR consulting fees in 2021. Those public relations costs have dropped dramatically. when Gaetz started to shut up and the investigative news cycle slowed, with just one check for $2,750 cut in the past three months, at the end of October.
As is customary for MAGA fixtures like Gaetz, the campaign paid tribute to Donald Trump, donating more than $2,200 to Trump properties in 2021. More than half of that came in final months – $729 November 2 for a stay at Mar-a-Lago, and $445 for a late October meal at the Trump International Hotel in DC
On the other side of the ledger last quarter, Gaetz raised $524,000, slightly more than $500,000 during his summer, but only about 11% of the $4.8 million total. his for the election cycle so far.
Gaetz is also still living in political exile. He received no money from other officials or groups last quarter, and the only assistance he offered was a $2,000 wire transfer to Congressman Paul Gosar (R-AZ), who spearheaded the effort to overthrow him. reverse election results 2020.
Gaetz’s joint fundraising committee with Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) also appears to have gone completely but officially. The two bombers on the right never really made money from the jump. Everything they participated in has passed out the door immediately. But their final quarter in 2021 was terrible.
The Joint Fundraising Committee has received a donation since the end of September – from Gaetz himself.
The $18,922 transfer from Gaetz’s campaign to the Gaetz-Greene business appears to be necessary to pay off the PAC’s final outstanding obligations. The Committee “Put America First” has no money left.