Tag: herschel walker
Herschel Walker

Herschel Walker Allegedly Implicated In 'Jaw-Dropping' $500K Fraud Scheme

Failed United States Senate candidate Herschel Walker (R-Georgia) — who had the backing of former President Donald Trump — has been implicated in an "unprecedented," "stunning," and "jaw-dropping" scandal involving crimes such as wire fraud and campaign finance violations.

Late Wednesday evening, The Daily Beast exclusively reported that Walker solicited "hundreds of thousands of dollars" from billionaire benefactor Dennis Washington in March of 2022 "for his own personal company—a company that he never disclosed on his financial statements."

Correspondent Roger Sollenberger revealed that "emails obtained by The Daily Beast—and verified as authentic by a person with knowledge of the exchanges—show that Walker asked Washington to wire $535,200 directly to that undisclosed company, HR Talent, LLC. And the emails reveal that not only did Washington complete Walker's wire requests, he was under the impression that these were, in fact, political contributions."

Sollenberger noted that "in the best possible circumstances, legal experts told The Daily Beast, the emails suggest exponential violations of federal fundraising rules; in the worst case, they could be an indication of more serious crimes, such as wire fraud."

That, however, represents the tip of a gigantic iceberg of alleged corruption.

"According to the legal experts who spoke to The Daily Beast for this article, this scheme appears to not just be illegal—it appears to be unparalleled in its audacity and scope," Sollenberger wrote. "The transactions raise questions about a slew of possible violations. In fact, these experts all said, the scheme was so brazen that it appears to defy explanation, ranking it among the most egregious campaign finance violations in modern history."

Multiple ex-prosecutors, including former United States Attorney Joyce Vance, also explained to The Daily Beast that "if Walker represented to a donor that a contribution was intended for his campaign, but it was actually for his personal benefit, it could form the basis for wire fraud. Prosecutors would have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that any defendants knowingly devised a scheme to defraud and intended to defraud."

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

Male Aide Accuses CPAC Chief Schlapp Of Unwanted Sexual 'Groping'

Male Aide Accuses CPAC Chief Schlapp Of Unwanted Sexual 'Groping'

More details have emerged in the sexual misconduct allegations against Matt Schlapp, the ultra-conservative longtime Republican operative and lobbyist, chair of the American Conservative Union, the organization that produces the highly-influential Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), and a Trump ally whose wife worked for for the ex-president.

A mid-level aide to the Herschel Walker campaign is accusing Schlapp of groping and fondling his genitals after taking him to two bars as he chauffeured him around Atlanta.The Daily Beast was the first to report the allegations.

Last October, Schlapp allegedly invited the staffer “to meet for drinks that night at the Capital Grille restaurant in the Buckhead section of Atlanta, the staffer said,” according to NBC News. “He believed the extra face-to-face time could help him solidify a professional connection with one of the party’s most influential figures.”

“Schlapp, who drank Tito’s vodka during the night, began ‘intruding into my personal space’ at the second bar, the staffer said. At one point, Schlapp bumped into the staffer’s gun while their legs touched, the staffer said, prompting Schlapp to ask what he was carrying.”

“‘Sig Sauer,’ the aide said, surprised to find that Schlapp seemed unfamiliar with the name of the gun given CPAC’s emphasis on Second Amendment rights.”

In audio recorded by the staffer that NBC posted in its report, the aide says Schlapp “put his hands on me in a sustained and unsolicited and unwanted manner.”

The aide alleges at one point Schlapp asked him, “Are you uncomfortable looking at me?”

That made “the aide even more uncomfortable than he already was, he said. In short order, he told Schlapp that they had an early morning and it was best to call it a night.”

In the car, “Schlapp began fondling his leg, he said. That progressed, the staffer said, as the two men made their way toward the Hilton Garden Inn at the Atlanta airport, a ride of about 15 minutes with little traffic.”

Schlapp “‘literally had his hands on me,’ the staffer said in a video he recorded early in the morning of October 20, just a couple of hours after the alleged incident. ‘Matt Schlapp of the CPAC grabbed my junk and pummeled it at length.’ The staffer did not post the video publicly but shared it with NBC News.”

“To my shame, I did not say ‘no’ or ‘stop,'” the staffer also said.

“God knows it was not a wanted advance.”

The aide says had Schlapp just made a “polite pass” he would never had said anything.

“‘If he had made a polite pass at me and left it that,’ the staffer said, ‘only me, Matt and God would know about that.'”

Reprinted with permission from Alternet.

Lindsey Graham Should Stop Insulting Black Voters -- And Listen To Them

Lindsey Graham Should Stop Insulting Black Voters -- And Listen To Them

One of South Carolina’s senators must have an incredibly low opinion of Black Americans, their intelligence and judgment. The evidence? His sad, almost laughable closing argument as he barnstormed for Herschel Walker, who lost his runoff race challenging Democratic incumbent Sen. Raphael Warnock and won’t be joining Lindsey Graham as a Republican colleague in Washington, D.C.

Graham did not talk about Walker’s proposals or plans for the people he would represent in the state of Georgia. He never mentioned Walker’s experience, which consisted of long-past football glory and running some businesses with a debated degree of success. In fact, Walker’s buddy barely let the candidate speak in TV appearances where Graham tried for “sidekick” but instead came off as “handler.”

No, Graham’s final arguments for the Donald Trump-endorsed Walker went something like this absurd statement he yelled more than stated on Fox News: “They’re trying to destroy Herschel to deter young men and women of color from being Republicans.”

Graham said, “If Herschel wins, he’s going to inspire people all over Georgia of color to become Republicans and, I say, all over the United States.”

No, senator. In fact, the reality turned out to be quite the opposite.

If anyone by word and deed is deterring people of color from turning to the GOP, it would be one Lindsey Graham, along with other Republican leaders, exemplified by their decision to back Walker in a contest with Warnock because, in their eyes, one Black man is the same as any other. Or at least that’s what Black voters seemed to surmise.

How else to explain the endorsement of a man so clearly unqualified and uninterested in tending to the needs of the citizens of Georgia in the Senate?

You wonder if Graham and other Republicans actually talk to Black voters about the issues they might care about — say, voting rights, health care, criminal justice reform, climate change, the economy — or if they believe that personality, not policy, drives them to the polls.

You even wonder if Republicans talked to Walker, since it was clear from his sincere concession speech on election night that there was a side of the candidate seldom revealed on the campaign trail.

And who is the “they” Graham was referring to in his emotional plea? Would that be the women who lined up at great cost to recount stories of abuse at Walker’s hands? Or maybe the candidate’s conservative activist son — the one child Walker clearly acknowledged before he was forced to own up to others — who wondered why a father with so much baggage decided to expose his loved ones to the spotlight?

For Graham to set up Walker as some kind of Pied Piper able to lure African Americans to his party was an embarrassment. Actually, “insulting” is the word I most heard from Black voters upset that Republicans would choose Walker as someone who represents what it means to be a Black man.

Did Graham, as well as Nikki Haley, Rick Scott, Ted Cruz, and Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, notice the majority white audiences who showed up for Walker, or question why the candidate, in his few closing rallies, avoided making his case to Georgia voters of color in churches, colleges and communities?

There was a reason Walker received a tiny fraction of the Black vote in the general election. (And odds are he did not improve on those numbers in the runoff.) Most Black folks in Georgia were not buying what he and Graham were selling, a Black man spouting GOP talking points. The prospect of Walker as a rubber stamp for Sen. Mitch McConnell was not nearly as attractive as a six-year term for Warnock, someone a majority of the state’s voters obviously view as effective.

By the way, there is another senator representing South Carolina, who also campaigned for Walker, though less frequently and stridently than Graham.

No one of any race has ever questioned the character of GOP Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina, the former state legislator and congressman with qualifications most would judge worthy when it comes to running for high office.

But in his 2014 race, Scott, who is African-American, did not fare well among Black voters. That’s presumably because of real differences in policy on issues such as voting rights and criminal justice reform.

Most Black voters looked, judged and voted on his positions, with a majority deciding to pass.

Black voters are not a monolith and never have been. As an example, my parents were conservative Republicans who eventually drew the line at GOP “Southern Strategy” race-baiting. But it’s fair to say the majority are clear-eyed when it comes to what they choose to do in the voting booth, particularly in a state such as Georgia, where that vote was won with protest and sacrifice. In Georgia, the mandated runoff when no candidate reaches 50 percent is a product of white politicians’ effort to dilute and invalidate the wishes of African Americans when they were finally allowed to exercise their rights as citizens.

The current voting restrictions backed by Gov. Kemp forced the Warnock campaign and other Democratic groups to sue to restore a Saturday of early voting. Those long lines were a sign of a healthy democracy, and also of a lack of resources in counties that need them.

Georgians overcame every obstacle.

And if the state GOP figures out a way to make each Atlanta vote count for three-fifths of any ballot from predominantly white, rural areas, Black Georgians will figure out a way around that, too. Gerrymandering and ever more restrictive voting laws won’t work forever. And touting more Herschel Walkers is certainly not the answer.

So, Sen. Graham, don’t try to anoint role models, particularly when your party has vilified the African Americans many voters of color have actually elevated, including former President Barack Obama and, yes, Raphael Warnock.

Fulfilling your dream of inspiring more people of color to support the Republican Party would mean actually listening to them — and learning a thing or two.

This week, in Georgia, the message was loud and clear.

Having A Laugh At Walker's Big Promoters, Sean Hannity And Lindsay Graham

Having A Laugh At Walker's Big Promoters, Sean Hannity And Lindsay Graham

Fox News host Sean Hannity pulled former NFL star Herschel Walker into the race for U.S. Senate in Georgia, served as his campaign’s biggest asset, and bears responsibility for Republicans ultimately failing to oust Sen. Raphael Warnock, who beat Walker in Tuesday’s runoff.

Walker’s loss is another embarrassing defeat for Fox. The network’s influential prime-time hosts heavily promoted four unorthodox first-time candidates for U.S. Senate in the midterm elections — Walker, Blake Masters in Arizona, Dr. Mehmet Oz in Pennsylvania, and J.D. Vance in Ohio — helping them secure the Republican nominations for those races. Vance, the sole victor of the group, ran well behind the rest of his party’s slate in a red state; the other three lost winnable races in swing states, ensuring historic Democratic victories rather than a GOP “red tsunami.”

Hannity is a GOP kingmaker with the ear of top party leaders who spent Donald Trump’s presidency advising the White House. He is a relentless propagandist whose singular goal is electing Republican candidates. But when Hannity gets to pick those candidates, the results can be disastrous for his party.

For the last month, Hannity has been laser-focused on helping Walker to victory in the Georgia runoff. The Fox host has preached the importance of the race to his viewers, shielded the candidate from criticism, promoted his political ads, bolstered his fundraising, and savaged his opponent.

Walker has been a fixture on Hannity’s program even as he has hidden from credible journalists. Of Walker’s 12 weekday appearances on Fox since Election Day, five came on the host’s show — often, bizarrely, accompanied by Hannity regular Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC). The odd couple returned to the program on the eve of the runoff, with Graham using the opportunity to thank Hannity’s audience for their donations and promising them “a return on investment tomorrow.”

It didn’t turn out that way. And Hannity, who was Walker’s most important press supporter throughout the race, is a big part of the reason why Democrats will have 51 seats in the Senate rather than 50 when it convenes in 2023.

Walker’s introduction to Republican politics came as a regular on Hannity’s show during the 2020 election cycle, when his pro-Trump takes made him a MAGA sensation. Then, after Trump lost and Hannity turned his attention to the 2022 midterms, the Fox host recruited Walker to run against Warnock. In a series of interviews, Hannity urged Walker to seek the Senate seat and pushed other Republicans to support his candidacy.

GOP leaders knew from the start that Walker was a terrible candidate whose nomination would make it harder to win the seat. As I noted on the day he announced his candidacy:

Republicans have plenty of reasons to worry about Walker’s chances of winning a general election in a swing state: He’s a first-time candidate who is moving to the state for the race, he’s a conspiracy theorist, and his wife is currently under investigation by state authorities for allegedly illegally voting in Georgia while living in Texas.

And last month, The Associated Press revealed that the candidate has “repeatedly threatened his ex-wife’s life, exaggerated claims of financial success and alarmed business associates with unpredictable behavior.”

Hannity endorsed Walker on-air that very night, and his show became ground zero for the campaign. The candidate made 38 weekday Fox News appearances between his August 25, 2021, launch date and Election Day; 19 of them came on Hannity, including a purported town hall that was functionally a televised rally for Walker. With Trump and Fox both behind Walker, the Georgia primary field cleared for him.

But as Hannity was propping up Walker’s candidacy, GOP fears that he hadn’t been fully vetted were being proved correct. Journalists detailed Walker’s history of domestic violence, his previously unrevealed children, reports that he had paid for abortions, his involvement in scams, and his false claims about his academic, business, and military background.

On Election Day, Republicans won every statewide election in Georgia with at least 51% of the vote — except for the Senate race. There, Warnock secured a narrow lead that threw the race into a runoff, which he ultimately won.

Walker’s defeat makes his campaign the latest case study to demonstrate the limits of Fox’s influence. Its hosts can get their chosen candidates through the party’s primaries. But the toxic extremists who attract Fox stars' interest are often deeply alienating to normal people, and that is making it harder for the GOP to win elections. Meanwhile, the Fox personalities who wield the most influence over the party are pointing fingers at everyone but themselves.

Reprinted with permission from Media Matters.