Twice in one week Donald Trump has attended fundraisers hosted by controversial Republican donors who have been caught up in allegations of campaign finance violations.
On Friday, Trump attended a fundraiser in Denver hosted by a trio of big Colorado funders, including Larry Mizel, a Colorado businessman whose company, MDC Holdings, Inc., was embroiled in a campaign finance scandal in the 1990s. According to reports at the time, the then-president of Mizel’s company was indicted for laundering campaign contributions. He was eventually acquitted, but two of the company’s subsidiaries were accused of illegally reimbursing political contributions and pleaded guilty to those charges.
On Wednesday, he attended a fundraiser hosted by coal magnate Bob Murray at an arena in West Virginia, where 1,200 people were expected to attend.
Murray faced multiple FEC complaints for allegedly pressuring employees to contribute to Republican candidates and his own PAC, though the complaints have all been dropped. He drew scrutiny in 2012 when Mitt Romney made a campaign stop in Ohio and Murray closed his mine in the area and told employees to attend the rally, which critics alleged amounted to an inappropriate campaign contribution.
Both are major GOP donors and veteran fundraisers in their respective states, and have held many fundraisers for GOP candidates in the past. As recently as April, Murray hosted a fundraiser for Ted Cruz, calling him at the time “the strongest on coal so far.”
But as Trump faces questions surrounding his fundraising abilities after bringing in a dismal haul in May and ending the month with just $1.3 million cash on hand, the hosts of his fundraisers could give skeptics further reason for concern.