Just a couple days ago, the “Trump Sunlight” campaign popped up on our radar, mostly because it set a $5 million goal and was organized by “a group of old friends and colleagues” (read: some random dudes you don’t know). The campaign states its goal as covering legal fees for anyone who might possess damning evidence of Donald Trump’s unfitness to be president, such as audio or video tape in which he makes a colossal ass of himself.
The $5 million figure is based on claims that there are Apprentice tapes in which Mr. Trump throws around the N-word, and that leaking the tapes is subject to a $5 million fee levied against anyone under contract by the show who leaks said tapes.
The campaign to cover this fee, started on October 8, has raised $26,038 as of press time. It stood at $2000 on October 9.
People are clearly more than happy to throw their money at this campaign, which is a private matter between them and their financial institution, but there’s just one problem: no one really knows what’s going to happen to the money raised should it not go toward legal fees to a person who may or may not exist. Hell, we don’t even know if the N-word tapes exist at all.
The original version of the campaign — an archive of which can be found here — stated that “any funds which are unused, (of is no one comes forward), will be donated to the Center for Investigative Reporting ( https://www.revealnews.org/).”
The Center for Investigative Reporting, however, has disavowed the campaign as it would violate journalistic integrity to opt in to this kind of political boondogglery.
From the CIR statement released yesterday:
As a nonpartisan investigative journalism organization, we understand the importance of assuring legal protections for whistleblowers. Throughout our 40-year history, we often have relied on courageous testimony and evidence provided by individuals who – at great personal risk – have come forward to help address injustice.
However, CIR does not and would not conduct any investigation in a partisan manner.
We therefore want to make it clear that we had no hand in this campaign and will not be accepting any funds from it.
The campaign has since changed its language (archived copy of the campaign as it stands today here), and now states “any unused funds (or if no one comes forward) will be donated to a reputable organization that supports freedom of the press and journalistic integrity.” Despite the fact that CIR just told everyone that to accept funds from this campaign would violate non-partisan journalistic integrity. Perhaps they can find some ultra progressive blogger with dubious ethics to give $25k to.
Stay far away from this one, you guys. Perhaps the campaign organizers are well-meaning, but you deserve to get ripped off if you throw money at this. There is absolutely no accountability here, and a beneficiary doesn’t even exist (at least not one that can be identified). You might as well literally flush your money down the toilet.