In a bizarre saga it appears that Marjorie Taylor Greene’s campaign paid for the website of a potential Trump rival Kanye West.
The scandal has been brewing in the political world for quite a while, but all came to a head on Wednesday (May 10), when The Daily Beast obtained copies of the purchase receipts from an insider close to the situation.
Though Ye still hasn’t officially announced his presidential bid — and has, in fact, been waffling back and forth with the idea of doing so — the outlet revealed that alt-right troll Milo Yiannopoulos used Greene’s credit card to purchase the website associated with West’s expected presidential run.
“The receipts match Federal Election Commission filings from both campaigns,” reported the outlet. “Those filings show that on Nov. 22, the Greene campaign reported a $7,020.16 expense to the GoDaddy hosting service for “domain registration and hosting.” That same day, the Kanye 2020 committee reported paying Yiannopoulos $9,955 for “domain transfer.””
This report dovetails with a previous report released on Tuesday (May 9), when West’s presidential campaign treasurer Patrick Krason resigned after he told a federal regulator that Ye’s campaign advisor Milo Yiannopoulos had possibly broken the law.
Krason claimed that last November Yiannopoulos “submitted falsified invoices and for expenditures that would be deemed unlawful.”
The letter specifically noted an expense for a “digital asset” where Yiannopoulos allegedly sought reimbursement from both Kanye 2020 and the campaign of Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, a Republican from Georgia for whom Yiannopoulos had previously worked.
The digital assets, as the Daily Beast revealed, turned out to be the website in question. “According to the receipts, GoDaddy billed Greene senior adviser Isaiah Wartman for a $7,020.16 purchase of the “ye24.com” domain on Nov. 22. The person with direct knowledge of the events said that Yiannopoulos oversaw the transaction with the Greene campaign card, but the person did not know whether the Greene campaign was aware at the time of the expense,” they reported.
While questions have been raised about the legality of this entire transaction — as it’s possible that both Greene and West committed a vast sundry of crimes, including possible theft and conversion of campaign funds for personal use — the question of why this transaction happened in the first place still remains.
If you believe Greene, she had no idea about what was going on, and she’s horrified that anyone would suggest she’d engage in any sort of criminal activity.
“Congresswoman Greene knew nothing about the gross negligence made by a vendor and is being unfairly attacked as a result,” a consultant for Greene’s campaign, Isaiah Wartman, said in a statement to LGBTQ Nation. “The campaign was told the purchase was refunded. This wasn’t the case.”
But as any first-year law student knows, ignorance of the law is not a defense against breaking it. “That is on its face an excessive, prohibited contribution,” said Saurav Ghosh, Federal Campaign Finance Reform Legal Director for the Campaign Legal Center, to the outlet. “Whether Marjorie Taylor Greene or her senior staffers knew about it, the value was well in excess of the amount that one campaign can legally contribute to another campaign.”
What’s more, given Greene’s unyielding loyalty to Donald Trump, there are some political experts who believe that Kanye West is being used by the alt-right as a fall guy of sorts — a red herring to siphon votes away from President Joe Biden’s upcoming re-election efforts, thus swaying the 2024 presidency in Trump’s favor should he, too, decide to run.
And there’s no better source for this theory than Kanye West himself, who told Forbes in 2020 that his sole reason for running for president back then was to damage Biden’s initial campaign efforts.
“I’m not saying Trump’s in my way, he may be a part of my way. And Joe Biden? Like come on man, please. You know?” he said. “I’m okay with siphoning off Black votes from the Democratic nominee, thus helping Trump. I’m not denying it, I just told you. To say that the Black vote is Democratic is a form of racism and white supremacy.”