Aug 25, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Trump campaign rejected offer to buy Biden daughter's diary

President Joe Biden, his wife Jill Biden, and their daughter Ashley Biden.

Joe Biden, Jill Biden and Ashley Biden attend the GILT and Ashley Biden celebration of the launch of exclusive Livelihood Collection at Spring Place on February 7, 2017 in New York City. (Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images)

Donald Trump's 2020 presidential campaign rejected an offer to buy President Biden's daughter's stolen diary, federal prosecutors say.

Why it matters: The revelation comes amid a criminal investigation into how the diary and other property belonging to Ashley Biden ended up in the hands of right-wing journalists.

Driving the news: Two Florida individuals pled guilty on Thursday to transporting stolen property across state lines for their roles in selling Ashley Biden's diary to Project Veritas, the organization run by conservative provocateur James O'Keefe.

  • The criminal information filed as part of that guilty plea reveals those two people, Aimee Harris and Robert Kurlander, received $20,000 each for the material.

Before pitching it to Project Veritas, Harris and Kurlander first approached the Trump campaign about buying the stolen material, the court filing says.

  • They attended a September 6, 2020, Trump campaign fundraisier "with the intent of showing the Victim's stolen property to a campaign representative ... hoping that the political campaign would purchase it," federal prosectors wrote.

Instead, the Trump campaign told them to take the material to the FBI.

  • The Trump campaign "can't use it," Kurlander texted Harris. "They want it to go to the FBI. There is NO WAY [Trump] can use this. It has to be done a different way."

Between the lines: Those details add new context to efforts by Harris and Kurlander to cash in on the highly sensitive stolen information by weaponizing it politically.

  • While Project Veritas purchased the diary, it did not publish it, and the group has denied any wrongdoing amid an investigation involving a raid on O'Keefe's home.
  • The diary was eventually published by the right-wing news outlet the National File.
Go deeper