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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Republicans' House campaign arm will begin accepting contributions in cryptocurrency, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: The National Republican Congressional Committee is the first national party committee to solicit crypto donations. That puts it at the forefront of a disruptive financial technology that could test campaign finance rules.

How it works: The NRCC tells Axios it will process the donations using the payment processor BitPay. Crypto donations will be immediately converted into dollars before landing in the NRCC's account.

  • That means the committee will never actually take possession of the donated cryptocurrencies, allowing it to accept individual donations of up to $10,000 per year, rather than the $100 value for transfers of actual cryptocurrency like Bitcoin that the FEC approved in a 2014 ruling.
  • In other words, the NRCC isn't actually receiving crypto, it's just soliciting proceeds from their sales.
  • It takes a step out of the process, allowing a more seamless transaction from crypto holdings to political contributions.

What they're saying: "We are focused on pursuing every avenue possible to further our mission of stopping Nancy Pelosi’s socialist agenda and retaking the House majority, and this innovative technology will help provide Republicans the resources we need to succeed,” Rep. Tom Emmer (R-Minn.), the NRCC chairman, said in a statement.

  • Emmer also is a co-chair of the Congressional Blockchain Caucus, as well as a member of the House Financial Services Committee.
  • He recently pressed the IRS to ease regulations on cryptocurrency donations to charitable groups.

Background: While the NRCC is the first party committee to do so, a handful of federal political candidates have accepted crypto donations.

  • The Federal Election Commission has expressed concerns about tensions between federal transparency and disclosure rules and the anonymity that cryptocurrencies are designed to provide.
  • The NRCC, like other political committees that have solicited crypto contributions, says it will diligently gather identifying information from all individuals who use crypto to donate.

Go deeper

Senate GOP pushes DOJ to roll back Trump oversight rule

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Senate Republicans want the Justice Department to roll back Trump-era restrictions on congressional oversight criticized at the time as an attempt to insulate the Trump administration from Democratic investigators, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: While some Republicans spoke out against the DOJ guidance at the time, it was mostly Democrats who attacked it as a constitutionally dubious effort to scuttle congressional oversight. Now the shoe is on the other foot, and the GOP is making similar arguments with Biden in the White House.

Updated 11 mins ago - Politics & Policy

New York AG alleges "significant evidence" of Trump Organization fraud

Combination images of former President Trump and New York State Attorney General Letitia James. Photo: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images; Scott Heins/Getty Images

New York's attorney general filed a motion Tuesday seeking to compel former President Trump and two of his children, Donald Trump, Jr. and Ivanka Trump, to appear for sworn testimony in her office's civil investigation into the Trump Organization's financial dealings.

Why it matters: Attorney General Letitia James revealed new details in the court filing and a statement on her office's investigation into the Trump Organization's business practices, including a preliminary finding alleging the company used "fraudulent and misleading asset valuations to obtain economic benefits."

2 hours ago - Technology

Ex-N.Y. Post digital chief files lawsuit alleging sexual harassment

Richard B. Levine) (Photo by Richard Levine/Corbis via Getty Images

Former New York Post editor Michelle Gotthelf is suing her former employer, its parent company News Corp. and two editors, alleging she was reprimanded after complaining to senior executives that she was sexually harassed by retired N.Y. Post editor-in-chief Col Allan. The N.Y. Post issued a statement denying any wrongdoing.

Why it matters: "I felt that I owed it to myself and I owed it to the news organization and the people who answered to me," Gotthelf, who was a long time editor at the N.Y. Post, told Axios in an interview.