FEC Uncovers Fundraising Violations in Kanye West's Presidential Campaign
Reports from the Federal Election Commission reveal Kanye West's presidential campaign illegally accepted contributions from minors and potentially foreign nationals.
Kanye West's failed bid for president in 2020 could cost him more than a prospective political career.
According to an extensive report from The Daily Beast, the Federal Election Commission has uncovered a number of campaign finance violations in the rapper's longshot run for the nation's highest office. The report reveals West's campaign accepted donations after it had cleared all debts (which is illegal,) and that those campaign contributions were received from both minors and, potentially, foreign nationals (which is also, you guessed it, illegal.)
The violations stem from the continued sale of campaign merchandise well into 2021 on a dedicated site, where teenage hypebeasts put in bulk orders for "Kanye 2020" hats and hoodies, hoping to flip their haul online via secondhand markets. Sadly, many of those industrious teens never got the chance to turn a profit, as the campaign appears to have halted the fulfillment of orders. "I don’t know what’s happening there," says Ian Bloom, a 16-year-old who purchased 20 hoodies from the campaign site on his mother's credit card. Bloom claims a follow-up email sent to the campaign's customer support bounced back. "They said it would be three weeks, and after that I emailed the support team, and the email just wasn’t a thing," Bloom told The Daily Beast. The report also shows more than a third of the campaign's 3,161 reported donations were received from students, totaling $349,160 in contributions, with $26,540 arriving in 2o21 alone.
Additionally, the FEC noted several donors didn't even give their names. Instead, international contributors to the campaign donated under customer IDs for drop-shipping warehouses across the country (again, illegal.) "In five-plus years of doing this I’ve never come across something like this," said Jordan Libowitz, a communications director for the government watchdog organization, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics.
West has yet to offer any comment on the violations.