Nov 22, 2021 - News
Publix heiress' insurrection troubles
Amid smoke and chaos, Demonstrators attempt to breach the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021.
Demonstrators attempt to breach the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021. Photo: Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A fundraiser’s texts reveal the importance of donations from Publix heiress Julie Jenkins Fancelli to the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, per ProPublica.

Flashback: The Wall Street Journal reported in January that Fancelli gave $300,000 to Women for America First, the organization behind the "Save America" rally.

  • That rally happened at the Washington Ellipse early on Jan. 6, as both houses of Congress prepared to certify the Electoral College results.
  • The Journal reported that Fancelli coordinated with Infowars host Alex Jones to finance the event, with Trump fundraising official Caroline Wren organizing the rally at Fancelli's request.

What's new: Texts from Kimberly Guilfoyle, a top fundraiser for former President Donald Trump and the girlfriend of his son Donald Trump Jr., show the importance of Fancelli's donation in continuing the false claim that the election was stolen.

  • And documents show Guilfoyle courted Fancelli, a reclusive member of one of the country's richest families who splits her time between Italy and Lakeland, where Publix is headquartered.
  • Though she is the daughter of Publix founder George W. Jenkins, Fancelli has no official role with Publix.

The big picture: In July 2020, Guilfoyle called Fancelli directly. The next day, Fancelli made her largest federal political contribution to date: $250,000 to Trump Victory.

  • By election night, she had chipped in $565,000 more, records show.
  • That generosity continued after the election, as ProPublica reports that $150,000 from Fancelli was routed directly to the Republican Attorney General Association's Rule of Law Defense Fund, which then paid for robocalls instructing Trump supporters to march on the Capitol after Trump's speech.

The bottom line: It's getting harder to see how Jan. 6 would have happened without Fancelli's money.

Of note: After the election, two of Trump's closest aides formed a super PAC. LJ Management Services Inc., a company closely linked to Fancelli's family foundation, gave $800,000 to the PAC in several installments, records show.

What they're saying: Fancelli didn't respond to ProPublica's request for comment.

  • Earlier this year, she did issue a statement to the Wall Street Journal: "I am a proud conservative and have real concerns associated with election integrity, yet I would never support any violence, particularly the tragic and horrific events that unfolded on January 6th."
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