Robert Mercer and Rebekah Mercer attend the 2017 TIME 100 Gala at Jazz at Lincoln Center on April 25, 2017 in nyc.
Patrick McMullan | Getty Images
Republican megadonors Robert and Rebekah Mercer donated over $12 million into a number of conservative causes this past year despite distancing themselves from being correlated with President Donald Trump.
In 2018, the Mercers signaled to their allies that they weren’t seeking to directly encourage Trump’s presidency after spending millions to get him elected 2016. The family came under undesirable public scrutiny because of its support of Trump.
But since they refrained from financing Trump’s reelection effort, the Mercers spent $8.1 million to shadowy money set the Donors Trust, depending on their household’s 2018 tax return, first reviewed by CNBC. The trust was especially created in the late 1990s to maintain the identity of the donors anonymous while they funnel countless often conservative classes.
In the past, Donors Trust has led to a huge array of organizations like the Federalist Society, Project Veritas and the Cato Institute. The group’s latest tax return, from 2017, reveals they earned $110 million through donations and grants.
The Mercer family base finished 2018 with assets worth around $24 million, their most recent filing shows. Mercer and his three daughters, Rebekah, Jennifer and Heather, are listed as directors of the base.
Agents for the Mercers didn’t return a request for comment.
The Mercers also gave $500,000 into the Government Accountability Institute, or GAI, a think tank founded by conservative researcher Peter Schweizer and former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon. Both Trump allies have pushed conspiracies against their rivals, such as Hillary Clinton in Schweizer’s book “Clinton Cash.”
Rebekah Mercer is recorded as GAI’s chairwoman. The household financed Breitbart News, which Bannon ran before he joined the Trump administration. However, Mercer in 2017 distanced himself from him and the conservative news outlet when he resigned as co-CEO of hedge fund Renaissance Technologies. Mercer sold his stake in Breitbart to his brothers at that time.
GAI has allegedly played a part in compelling, at least in part, a conspiracy which joins former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter to corruption in Ukraine. Schweizer’s latest publication, “Secret Empires,” includes a chapter called “Bidens in Ukraine.” GAI has promised that the former vice president abused his power to shield his son from an investigation into Burisma, a Ukrainian energy company on whose board Hunter Biden worked.
Beyond some of those conservative classes, the Mercers also contributed to a ton of nontraditional science ventures such as a $250,000 contribution to the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, which, according to its website, “develops medical, legal, and cultural contexts for people to benefit from the careful uses of psychedelics and marijuana.”
They also spent $300,000 on the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine, a nonprofit which the research team Map Light formerly described as an organization that is skeptical of climate change.