The Republican National Committee paid more than $300,000 in October to a company owned by Donald Trump Jr. to purchase copies of his new, self-published book, Liberal Privilege. Autographed copies of the ghostwritten book were given out to donors who contributed between $50 and $100 to the RNC, according to a source familiar with the arrangement. The source said the promotion raised substantial sums for Republicans in the final stretch of the election.
The RNC’s payment of $303,892.47 went to a company called Pursuit Venture LLC. Corporate records in Delaware, where the company was formed in late 2018, list Don Jr as its principal owner. The RNC’s payment was itemized as “donor mementos” and was the largest single payment—out of more than 700—that the committee has ever reported for donor “mementos” or “gifts,” according to Federal Election Commission filings.It was also more than three times what the RNC reportedly paid to acquire copies of Trump Jr.’s previous book, Triggered. The committee said, at the time, that its fundraising promotions using that book brought in more than half a million dollars, netting a substantial fundraising benefit for national Republicans.
FEC records show that Pursuit Venture also got an $11,000 payment in early October from Rep. Matt Gaetz’s reelection campaign. The purpose payment was listed as “supporter gifts” as Gaetz was courting favor from Don Sr to support his bid to keep his seat in the House.
It’s common for political groups to buy books written by prominent public officials and offer them as gifts for their financial supporters, and GOP committees have purchased books for their donor promotions this year that were “written” by people who are not related to the Trumps, including Sen. Ted Cruz and Fox News host Sean Hannity. The RNC is finding itself in extra hot water, however, for not exactly being forthcoming regarding their expenses.
NEW: The RNC paid a mystery company $42 million this year. The untraceable company, Digital Consulting Group, went from nonexistent to the GOP's highest-paid vendor of the election in just 8 months, receiving 3 of the RNC's top 10 payments ever. Me @salon https://t.co/f9GCTWQV8wSee Also
— Roger Sollenberger found true love, suckers (@SollenbergerRC) December 4, 2020