Publix founder’s daughter, a part-time Lakeland resident, provided $60,000 for the floor
Part-time Lakeland resident Julie Jenkins Fancelli is featured in new revelations from the congressional committee investigating the attack on the US Capitol.
The Washington Post reported on Tuesday that Fancelli provided $60,000 which was paid to Kimberly Guilfoyle, Donald Trump Jr.’s fiancée, for a brief speech at the ‘Stop the Steal’ rally at the Ellipse in Washington, DC, on Jan. 6, 2021. The U.S. House of Representatives Jan. 6 Select Committee is studying evidence that members of former President Donald Trump’s inner circle benefited financially from the money generated by the false allegations of voter fraud of Trump.
The Post reported that Fancelli, the daughter of Publix Super Markets founder George W. Jenkins, testified before the House committee. Fancelli argued for the Fifth Amendment, which offers protection against self-incrimination, CNN reported.
Fancelli declined to comment on Wednesday.
The Washington Post first reported on the payment to Guilfoyle, who spoke for less than three minutes to introduce Trump Jr. on Jan. 6, 2021. The rally, at which the former president spoke, preceded the Capitol riot, in which Trump supporters stormed the building and disrupted Congress’ certification of votes for the 2020 presidential election.
Turning Point Action, a conservative organization supporting Trump, paid Guilfoyle $60,000 for the brief speech, according to multiple sources, the Post reported. Fancelli, who lives much of the year in Italy, donated the money Turning Point Action used to pay Guilfoyle, according to two sources familiar with the arrangement, CNN reported.
Previously:Report: Publix heiress donated $150,000 to group that promoted Jan. 6 march to U.S. Capitol
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Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-California, described the payment to Guilfoyle in an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper. Lofgren said the panel did not determine whether the payment to Guilfoyle and other fundraisers based on Trump’s voter fraud allegations constituted financial crimes.
“I’m not saying it’s a crime, but I think it’s a scam,” Lofgren said.
The committee has not publicly identified Fancelli as the source of Guilfoyle’s payment, CNN said.
Fancelli, 72, donated about $1 million to Turning Point Action, CNN reported. A proposed solicitation said the money would be used to ferry students and social media influencers to the rally and for the production of videos and other media, CNN reported.
The Washington Post previously reported that Fancelli wired $650,000 in December 2020 to groups organizing the Jan. 6 rally. Those groups included Women for America First and the nonprofit arm of the Republican Attorneys General Association, the Post reported.
Fancelli did not attend the rally in Washington, the Post reported.
The Wall Street Journal reported that Fancelli coordinated with Alex Jones, host of the online show “InfoWars,” to fund the event. Trump’s head of fundraising, Caroline Wren, coordinated the rally at Fancelli’s request, the Journal reported.
At the time, Fancelli provided a statement to the Journal which read, “I am a proud conservative and have real concerns about the integrity of elections, but I would never support any violence, especially the tragic events and horrible events that took place on January 6.
Fancelli has no official role with Publix. Following reports of Fancelli’s involvement in the Jan. 6 rally, Publix released a statement saying she “is not involved in our business operations, nor does she represent the company in any way.”
Fancelli contributed nearly $1 million to the Trump campaign and the Republican Party during the 2020 election cycle, according to Federal Election Commission records.