WASHINGTON (AP) – A major House Republican fundraising committee overseen by GOP Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy received around $770,000 from Steve Wynn. He was a Las Vegas casino mogul who stepped down from his company in 2018 after being accused of sexual misconduct.
According to campaign finance disclosures, Wynn’s donation to Take Back the House 2022 was one of the largest election cycles. The committee divides large fundraising hauls among 59 Republican House members.
The acceptance of the sum denotes a reversal by McCarthy, who in 2018 joined a growing chorus of Republicans who said they would donate Wynn’s campaign cash to charity after the misconduct allegations surfaced. Wynn has denied the allegations.
As they embark on the massively expensive task of attempting to wrest control of the House back from Democrats, Republicans are willing to look past the messy and potentially problematic backgrounds of some donors.
McCarthy did not address his decision to accept money from Wynn after previously rejecting it. A brief statement released on Friday revealed this.
When asked about the donations, Wynn’s attorney, Donald Campbell, said, “He has the same rights and entitlements as any other private citizen in the United States of America.”
The #MeToo movement was at its peak when the allegations against Wynn surfaced. According to the Wall Street Journal, several women have claimed he harassed or assaulted them. One case resulted in a $7.5 million settlement with a former company manicurist.
Donations aided by Wynn
He has maintained a low profile in the years since. He gave $700,000 to former President Donald Trump’s fundraising operation in 2020. And he also gave $9 million to the Senate Leadership Fund, an outside organization that elects Republican senators. Rank-and-file Republicans in Congress, on the other hand, largely shunned him.
According to records, the money he gave in March was already distributed to at least 55 House Republicans. Each received a maximum legal donation of $5,800 from Take Back the House 2022.
Democrats argue that the House GOP’s acceptance of the donations demonstrates McCarthy’s deception in rejecting Wynn’s money.