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Chris Cline, referred to by some as the last coal tycoon, spent some of the billions he made to support the Republican Party and Donald Trump’s election campaign, along with his alma mater, Marshall University.

Catch up quick: Cline, 60, was among 7 who died on Thursday when a helicopter crashed due to unknown causes on its way from the Bahamas to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., AP reports. Forbes estimated the West Virginia entrepreneur's net worth at $1.8 billion after he took his company, St. Louis-based Foresight Energy, public in 2014.

Why it matters: Per the LA Times: "Cline was no stranger to politics." He contributed $1 million to President Trump’s inaugural committee and $200,000 to the Trump Victory PAC, per FEC records. Throughout his campaign and since taking office, Trump has made helping the coal industry a signature goal. In his 2018 State of the Union address, he told the crowd he had "ended the war on American energy — and ... ended the war on beautiful, clean coal." ABC News reports.

The backdrop:

  • Before donating to Trump, Cline gave $1 million to a super PAC in support of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush’s presidential campaign in 2015.
  • Open Secrets revealed that Cline also gave thousands of dollars to conservative organizations and Republicans including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.

Go deeper

Schumer's m(aj)ority checklist

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Capitalizing on the Georgia runoffs, achieving a 50-50 Senate and launching an impeachment trial are weighty to-dos for getting Joe Biden's administration up and running on Day One.

What to watch: A blend of ceremonies, hearings and legal timelines will come into play on Tuesday and Wednesday so Chuck Schumer can actually claim the Senate majority and propel the new president's agenda.

The dark new reality in Congress

National Guard troops keep watch at security fencing. Photo: Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

This is how bad things are for elected officials and others working in a post-insurrection Congress:

  • Rep. Norma Torres (D-Calif.) said she had a panic attack while grocery shopping back home.
  • Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) said police may also have to be at his constituent meetings.
  • Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) told a podcaster he brought a gun to his office on Capitol Hill on Jan. 6 because he anticipated trouble with the proceedings that day.
Off the Rails

Episode 3: Descent into madness ... Trump: "Sometimes you need a little crazy"

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photos: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. This Axios series takes you inside the collapse of a president.

Episode 3: The conspiracy goes too far. Trump's outside lawyers plot to seize voting machines and spin theories about communists, spies and computer software.

President Trump was sitting in the Oval Office one day in late November when a call came in from lawyer Sidney Powell. "Ugh, Sidney," he told the staff in the room before he picked up. "She's getting a little crazy, isn't she? She's really gotta tone it down. No one believes this stuff. It's just too much."

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