Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner approved the creation of a shell company that operated like a “campaign within a campaign” and secretly funneled millions of dollars in campaign cash to Trump family members. The company, American Made Media Consultants Corporation and American Made Media Consultants LLC, took more than half of the Trump campaign’s $1.26 billion in raised funds and was largely shielded from having to publicly report financial details. Trump’s daughter-in-law Lara Trump was the company’s president, Vice President Mike Pence’s nephew was its VP, and Trump campaign CFO Sean Dollman was treasurer and secretary.
The mysterious company caused raised red flags with other campaign staffers who are not related to the family and who had no idea how it was spending money. The Campaign Legal Center filed a civil complaint with the FEC in June accusing the Trump campaign of laundering $170 million largely through it.
Trump’s top advisers and campaign staff were unaware of how the shell company operated, and campaign officials even conducted an internal audit of its operations under former campaign manager Brad Parscale but never reported those findings, and the next campaign manager, Bill Stepien. had little involvement with AMMC. A campaign spokesperson denied that AMMC paid Lara Trump or Pence’s nephew for being on its board. However, Lara Trump was also receiving a reported $180,000 a year salary from the Trump campaign to act as an ‘adviser’. Kim Guilfoyle, the girlfriend of Donald Trump, Jr., also reportedly receives the same amount for similar duties.
PS3/ This also appears to render it an absolute certainty that Jared Kushner will receive one of his father's preemptive pardons—but also that this pardon will be an overt attempt to shield the entire family from criminal liability for the largest political wire fraud in history.
— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) December 18, 2020
“Lara Trump and John Pence resigned from the AMMC board in October 2019 to focus solely on their campaign activities, however, there was never any ethical or legal reason why they could not serve on the board in the first place,” said Tim Murtaugh, the campaign’s communications director. “John and Lara were not compensated by AMMC for their service as board members.”
The Department of Justice may open a criminal investigation if the government suspects the payments were a “knowing and willful” violation of election law.