SCOOP: Jan. 6 Rally Organizer Amy Kremer’s FEC Fine Referred To Treasury For Enforcement
UPDATE – May 11, 2022: The Federal Election Commission (FEC) has referred three more fine cases against Jan 6 rally organizer Amy Kremer to the U.S. Treasury Department for enforcement and collection for non-filing reports for her PAC Women Vote Smart. On April 28, FEC referred additional $22,469 to UST, total now $29,010
The total of five unpaid fines against Kremer’s PAC is $37,428. This comes after Rantt Meda previously reached out to the FEC months ago about whether they would refer Kremer’s fines to the Treasury Department for enforcement. At the time, they said they couldn’t provide an update or provide additional comments on this specific case. Now, they have officially made multiple referrals.
Below is the original article we published in April 2021 with more context.
The founder of the PAC operating the Women for Trump project has been fined by the Federal Election Commission (FEC) for failure to file quarterly reporting. Payment of the fine is delinquent and may be referred to the U.S. Department of Treasury for collection.
Amy Kremer, treasurer and founder of Women Vote Smart, the PAC operating her Women for Trump project, has been assessed a fine in the amount of $6,541 for non-filing, according to a letter sent by the FEC to Kremer on February 18, 2021. Payment of the fine, which was due within 30 days of Kremer receiving the letter, has not been made.
The FEC issued five warning letters for “Notice of Failure to File” to Kremer in her capacity as treasurer of the Women Vote Smart PAC. The first warning letter from the Commission was sent to Kremer in May last year, as Rantt Media first discovered.
A spokesperson for the FEC confirmed to Rantt Media that they see no payment made from Kremer to remedy this fee: “When a committee pays an Administrative Fine, the case file is updated to reflect a payment made. For this case, I do not see the indication that a payment has been made… If a committee fails to pay a fine, the Commission may transfer the case to the U.S. Department of the Treasury for collection.”
According to the February 18 letter sent to Kremer, enforcement remedies may include the following:
“Actions which may be taken to enforce recovery of a delinquent debt by Treasury may also include: (1) offset of any payments, which the debtor is due, including tax refunds and salary; (2) referral of the debt to agency counsel for litigation; (3) reporting of the debt to a credit bureau; (4) administrative wage garnishment; and (5) reporting of the debt, if discharged, to the IRS as potential taxable income. In addition, under the provisions of DCIA and other statutes applicable to the FEC, the debtor may be subject to the assessment of other statutory interest, penalties, and administrative costs.”
In 2016, Kremer, a former Tea Party leader, co-founded the Women Vote Trump PAC with Ann Stone, an ex-wife of Roger Stone. Founded with a goal of raising $30 million, by 2017, the Women Vote Trump PAC was nearly $20,000 in debt and had only raised $26,813. And Kremer’s PAC “got in trouble with the Federal Election Commission for the unauthorized use of a candidate’s name,” as Mother Jones reported.
Kremer changed the PAC’s name to Women Vote Smart and continued to operate her Women for Trump project as a fundraising vehicle — even while the Trump campaign launched its own Women for Trump group, which did not include Kremer on its 38-member advisory board.
Kremer is also founder and chair of nonprofit Women for America First, now infamous for hosting the January 6th pre-insurrection rally in Washington D.C. As BuzzFeed News reported: “This group, founded by Trump loyalists and supported by the former president, not only obtained the permit for the rally where former President Donald Trump told the crowd to march on the Capitol, but also spent the weeks leading up to it on a 20-city bus tour, spreading incendiary propaganda, lies, and hate across an American tinderbox.”
In January, Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), now chair of the Senate Finance Committee, told Rantt Media he would “keep pressing the IRS to investigate” tax-exempt groups involved in the January 6th deadly attack on the Capitol. Kremer’s Women for America First, a tax-exempt 501(c)(4), is allowed to participate in limited political activity. However, as Sen. Wyden wrote in a letter to IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig, on January 15:
“Not only are acts of terrorism or violence committed by an organization grounds for revocation of exempt status, but any 501(c)(3) [or] 501(c)(4) organization that encourages, plans, or supports an illegal act may be subject to revocation.”
Earlier this month, Sen. Wyden told a town hall audience he has not yet received a response from Rettig, a Trump administration holdover, whose term expires in November 2022. Wyden said he will “insist on” a response to his demand that the IRS investigate tax-exempt organizations that “were providing assistance on January 6th to those organizations that I believe were engaged in domestic terrorism.” He added, “Under federal tax law, organizations that are tax-exempt cannot in any way be involved in activities that would promote violence.”
Women for America First has denied any involvement in the deadly insurrection at the Capitol, tweeting: “We are not involved in the storming of the Capitol and do not condone any type of violence.” The group likewise released a statement denying any culpability.
However, as the permit holder for the “Save America” rally on January 6th at the Ellipse in Washington, D.C., Women for America First anticipated 30,000 participants in a “March for Trump.” Kremer spoke at the rally, as did Trump, whipping the crowd into a frothing frenzy with false claims about a “stolen election.”
Notably, the group stated in its permit: “Women for America first will not conduct an organized march from the Ellipse at the conclusion of the rally. Some participants may leave to attend rallies at the United States Capitol…”
How Kremer’s group knew in advance that rally participants would be headed to the Capitol remains an unanswered question. Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) has filed a lawsuit against Donald Trump and his allies for inciting the insurrection. In the suit, Kremer’s name is mentioned four times, suggesting more about the group’s participation in the events of January 6th may be discovered in the litigation process. Likewise, funding for the group’s participation is largely unknown.
Women for America First was granted tax-exempt status by the IRS in February 2020, retroactive to February 2019. Its tax filings are not yet publicly available. Even so, 501(c)(4) groups like Kremer’s are known as dark money organizations because they do not publicly disclose their donors.
Kremer made news again this week for comments that were condemned as racist, following the conviction of former police officer Derek Chauvin who was found guilty on all counts for the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Kremer tweeted, suggesting that residents of Minneapolis are still ‘going to riot regardless’ — because they have a ‘free ticket for a shopping spree.'”
A free ticket for a shopping spree is perhaps something familiar to Kremer. Her group held a “Save America Summit” fundraiser earlier this month at Trump National Doral Miami resort. Women for America First tweeted to promote the event:
We are getting the band back together.
— Women for America First 🇺🇸 (@america1stwomen) March 21, 2021
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) headlined the event. The Florida Congressman is under federal investigation for claims related to sex trafficking, allegedly involving a 17-year-old girl. Kremer’s tax-exempt group sold tickets to the event, priced between $500 and $5,000.
Amy Kremer has not responded to inquiries. She has blocked the author of this article on Twitter.