Publix heiress faces criticism for helping fund January 6 rally | Attack on the US Capitol

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Low-key American heiress living in Italy has been criticized for donating $ 650,000 to three organizations that helped organize and promote the January 6 political rally that followed the uprising on the United States Capitol by extremist supporters of Donald Trump.

Julie Fancelli, 72, who is the daughter of the founder of Florida-based supermarket chain Publix, has come under fire after new inquiries revealed she was the largest publicly known donor to the 6 rally. January, the Washington Post reported.

At the rally near the White House, Donald Trump urged his supporters to come to Capitol Hill to try to prevent the 2020 presidential victory of his Democratic rival Joe Biden from being officially certified by Congress.

Rioters then broke into the Capitol, although after hours of chaos and danger in which lawmakers and staff went into hiding in fear of their lives, the election result was certified in the early hours. of the following day.

Concerned relatives and relatives of Fancelli say his support for far-right groups could be driven by Fancelli’s interest in conspiracy theorist Alex Jones.

On December 29, eight days before the rally, Fancelli transferred $ 300,000 to Women for America First, a nonprofit organization that helped organize the January 6 rally, and $ 150,000 to the nonprofit branch. from the Republican Attorneys General Association, which covered robocalls promoting walking. “Ask Congress to stop the theft”, The Washington Post reported last December, referring to Trump’s campaign to overturn the election result.

Fancelli also gave $ 200,000 to State Tea Party Express, a right-wing group, according to Sal Russo, one of the group’s main consultants. Russo told the Post that records of Fancelli’s donation were provided to the House committee investigating the insurgency and that the money was used to pay for radio and social media ads, encouraging supporters of Donald Trump to participate in the rally. Russo told the Post he does not support the violence that has taken place on Capitol Hill.

Information on how expenses such as travel and hotel stays were covered for the thousands of Trump supporters who attended the rally and march on Capitol Hill is still under investigation. , but details, including substantial financial backing from Fancelli, continue to emerge.

Democratic Representative Bennie Thompson of Mississippi, chairman of the House committee investigating the events leading up to the Jan. 6 uprising, told the Post he believed Fancelli “played a significant role” in financial support for the gathering. “We’re trying to follow the money,” Thompson said.

Although Fancelli has not responded to the Post’s requests for comment since August, she has spoken of her involvement in the January 6 rally.

“I am a proud Conservative and have real concerns about the integrity of the elections, but I will never support any violence, especially the tragic and horrific events that unfolded on January 6,” Fancelli said in a statement. press release published 10 months ago.

Previously, after a first report on Fancelli’s $ 300,000 donated before the rally, Publix Super Markets issued a statement via social media, claiming that Publix would not comment on Fancelli’s actions as she was not a Publix employee or involved in the company. Following a Post investigation last week into Fancelli’s total contributions, Publix said the company “cannot control the actions of individual shareholders” and reprimanded its actions.

“We are deeply disturbed by Ms. Fancelli’s involvement in the events leading up to the tragic attack on Capitol Hill on January 6,” Publix said in a statement to the Post.

Fancelli had planned to attend the rally herself, even booking a room at the upscale Willard Hotel, but decided not to travel due to the pandemic, according to a Republican who knew of her donation, the Post reported. .



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