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Kanye West may have run as an independent member of the Birthday Party during his 2020 presidential campaign, but there’s a growing amount of evidence suggesting the GOP had a hand in the rapper and fashion mogul’s White House bid.
New documents obtained and reported by The Daily Beast on Friday suggest Ye’s campaign may have disguised services worth millions that it received from an alleged covert network of Republican operatives.
Law firm Holtzman Vogel, which typically works for GOP political and non-profit organizations, also played a central role in West’s White House bid, according to The Daily Beast. Ye may not have been aware of who the several Republican operatives that worked on his campaign worked for previously, the news site reported.
These revelations are “a big deal” that “can’t be overstated,” according to Paul S. Ryan, vice president of Common Cause, a government watchdog group.
“It’s no secret that Kanye West’s candidacy would have a spoiler effect, siphoning votes from Democrat Joe Biden,” Ryan told Daily Beast. “Voters had a right to know that a high-powered Republican lawyer was providing legal services to Kanye—and federal law requires disclosure of such legal work.”
The Daily Beast’s GOP collaboration accusations against West’s defunct campaign came a week after Reuters revealed a video of Yeezy’s longtime publicist, Trevian Kutti, pressuring a Georgia election worker to falsely confess to committing election fraud.
Earlier this week, Kanye’s camp told Reuters that Kutti was “not associated” with her former boss when she paid a visit to Georgia election worker Ruby Freeman, 62, and suggested Freeman could face jail time unless she lied about committing voter fraud in the 2020 election.
Reuters said Freeman and her daughter, Wandrea “Shaye” Moss, have received hundreds of threatening calls and messages since last December. That’s when former President Donald Trump publicly accused them of opening suitcases filled with fake ballots.
Federal records show Kanye’s campaign paid about $60,000 to Minnesota-based law firm Mohrman Kaardal, which previously filed a baseless election fraud lawsuit in support of then-President Trump’s campaign, according to The Daily Beast.
The lawsuit, which was ultimately dismissed, compelled a federal judge in Minnesota to order one of Kaardal’s attorneys to file a motion showing why he shouldn’t be referred for potential disciplinary action, according to KSTP.
The Daily Beast said it shared the court filings with several government watchdog groups, including Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. That group’s communications director Jordan Libowitz determined Kanye’s campaign bookkeeping was a “disaster.”
“This was absolutely amateur hour. And his campaign paid a lot of money for those results,” Libowitz told The Daily Beast. “It’s very clear that the whole point behind Kanye’s campaign was to try to re-elect Donald Trump. Whether that was a goal of Kanye is another issue. But he was clearly seen as a way to steal potential votes from Biden.”
West’s publicity team did not immediately respond Friday night to a request for comment from theGrio.
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