Former President Donald Trump’s political action committee donated $1 million to the conservative nonprofit organization where his former chief of staff, Mark Meadows, is a senior partner, according to a campaign finance report filed with the Federal Election Commission Monday night.
In December, the House voted to recommend that the Justice Department pursue contempt of Congress charges against Meadows over his refusal to cooperate with an investigation into the Trump-inspired Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.
The tax-deductible seven-figure contribution to the Conservative Partnership Institute is by far the largest chunk of $1.35 million in donations Trump’s “Save America” PAC made to political allies over the last six months of 2021, according to the campaign finance report.
Trump’s PAC gave to 69 candidates for federal and state offices, many of whom have embraced his lie that he was defrauded in the 2020 presidential election. He lost to President Joe Biden by an electoral vote rally of 306 to 232 — and by more than 7 million raw votes.
The contribution to Meadows’s nonprofit stands out both for its size and for its timing. On July 1, the House voted to establish a select committee to investigate the Capitol attack. Trump’s PAC donated to the Conservative Partnership Institute, which bills itself as a training ground for conservative staff and elected officials, on July 26.
“CPI is proud to have the support of President Trump, along with tens of thousands of Americans across the nation, for our work to build and unite the conservative movement,” CPI chief operating officer Wesley Denton said in a statement to NBC News.
Tim Mulvey, a spokesman for the Jan. 6 committee, did not immediately respond to a text seeking comment on the donation to Meadows’s employer.
“Save America” is one of the former president’s several political fundraising vehicles, which collectively raised $51 million in the second half of 2021, according to Trump spokesman Taylor Budowich. It employs about two dozen people and its most frequent expense is Facebook advertising, according to Monday’s disclosure.
The PAC’s largest contribution to a candidate, $10,000, went to Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who has been a guide to Trump in navigating Texas’s Republican primary politics. Most of the donations were made in $5,000 increments, and they went to most of the candidates Trump has endorsed.
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Recipients of “Save America” checks include several candidates running for statewide offices, including secretary of state and attorney general, that have influence over the administration of elections. For example, Trump gave $5,000 to Arizona state Rep. Mark Finchem, a secretary of state candidate who has called for the decertification of the 2020 election, and a matching amount to Rep. Jody Hice, R-Ga., who voted against certifying the election and is now running for secretary of state in Georgia.
Arizona and Georgia were the states decided by the smallest margins in 2020.
The PAC’s contributions to Senate candidates included a donation to Republican Herschel Walker, the former University of Georgia and professional football star who played for Trump’s team in the defunct USFL, the New Jersey Generals. And on the House side, Trump gave to Harriet Hageman, who is running a primary challenge to Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo. Cheney voted to impeach Trump for his role in the Jan. 6 attack and is one of two Republicans sitting on the committee investigating it.