President Donald Trump's son-in-law and senior advisor, Jared Kushner, approved the formation of a shell company which secretly funneled around $617 million of the campaign's $1.3 billion in funds to members of Trump's family, according to reporting from Business Insider.
The company—American Made Media Consultants (AMMC)—had attracted scrutiny since this summer, when the Campaign Legal Center accused it of laundering $170 million.
The funneling of small donor contributions to AMMC allowed Kushner and board members Lara Trump (the President's daughter in law), John Pence (the Vice President's nephew), and Trump campaign CFO Sean Dollman to skirt public disclosures of campaign expenditures.
This paved the way for secret compensation of some Trump family members, with Insider reporting:
"The operation acted almost like a campaign within a campaign. It paid some of Trump's top advisors and family members while shielding financial and operational details from public scrutiny."
Top advisors of Trump's campaign insisted that few of them knew anything about AMMC's operations, and Trump's former campaign manager Brad Parscale—who was demoted before ultimately resigning from the Trump campaign—attempted to conduct an internal audit, the findings of which never came to light.
Kushner, the husband of Trump's eldest daughter and advisor Ivanka Trump, has already been under fire for using his proximity to the President to further enrich himself.
Reporting earlier this year revealed that Kushner's companies—along with Trump's—received millions of dollars in Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funds, which were designed to keep small businesses afloat in the face of pandemic-induced shutdowns.
Once again, the Trump campaign was grifting its own supporters.
The scandal dwarfed the ones invented by right wing media outlets regarding First-Lady-to-be Dr. Jill Biden's degree, the profanity used by Biden campaign manager Jen O'Malley Dillon, or the business dealings of Biden's son, Hunter.
Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien told the Insider:
"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. John and Lara were not compensated by AMMC for their service as board members.