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The Art of the Steal

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Well, taking advantage of desperate, angry people and using their money for completely different personal purposes is certainly the perfect culmination to a “career” of counterproductive narcissism and Republican collaboration:

Money that Jill Stein raised to recount votes in 2016 swing states is being used by her campaign to pay for legal bills stemming from the investigation of Russian interference in the last presidential election.

In June, The Daily Beast reported that the the U.S. Green Party candidate’s campaign, which raised $7.3 million for recounts in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, had in 2017 stopped disclosing its monthly spending with the Federal Election Commission. Later that month, the Jill Stein for President committee filed a slew of reports that reveal spending on lawyers who are not trying to get inside any voting machines.

At the end of May 2018, according to the most recent FEC filing, the Stein campaign paid the “Partnership for Civil Justice” $66,441.60; that is on top of a $31,536 payment made in January, and more than the Stein campaign had in cash on hand by November 2016.

The Partnership for Civil Justice Fund is a nonprofit law firm whose mission is to “defend and advance fundamental civil, constitutional and human rights,” per a 2016 IRS filing. On its website, the group notes that it is representing Stein in her dealings before the the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.

In May 2018, the Stein campaign also paid $9,325 in attorney fees to Miller & Chevalier. In August 2017, Politico described it as “a boutique firm in Washington” that had taken on the case of Paul Manafort, the former Trump campaign chairman. Manafort, accused of by special counsel Robert Mueller of money laundering, is currently in jail.

It’s tempting to argue that anyone who gives anything to Stein deserves whatever they get, but lying to bilk your supporters in the context of exploiting outrage about an election outcome you did your best to bring about (although, yes, yes, you were such a buffoon you couldn’t attract enough support to do it…congratulations, I guess?) is pretty gross even by her standards.

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