In a departure from many of his hip-hop peers and forebears, Kanye West has always been a controversial figure, but never really a criminal one. While other rappers often recounted their experiences in gang life, detailing shootouts and illicit pharmaceutical sales, Ye mostly stuck to reminisces about his days working at The Gap and obsessing over fashion.
However, according to a new report from The Daily Beast, Ye may be in violation of federal campaign finance laws after his ill-fated Presidential campaign last year. Although West supposedly ran as an independent, third-party candidate, recent disclosures revealed that his campaign may well have been secretly run by the Republican Party (or an offshoot thereof) in a bid to splinter support for the GOP’s opponent Joe Biden. Republican Party advisors apparently funneled money into Kanye’s campaign, receiving their own payments for services rendered, all while disguising or hiding the transactions in their reports to authorities to keep their associations secret.
Of course, it was already long postulated that Ye’s campaign was just a smokescreen for Trump’s own bid for reelection — which turned out to be unsuccessful anyway — but Ye always denied such speculation. Now, it seems, there’s proof with Common Cause vice president Paul S. Ryan telling The Beast, “The importance of disclosure in this matter can’t be overstated. It’s no secret that Kanye West’s candidacy would have a spoiler effect, siphoning votes from Democrat Joe Biden. Voters had a right to know that a high-powered Republican lawyer was providing legal services to Kanye—and federal law requires disclosure of such legal work.”
The full report goes into further detail, but in summary, it describes the Kanye campaign securing legal services from firms linked to Trump, the Republicans, and voter fraud conspiracy theorists. This lines up with a recent Reuters report that Kanye had previously employed a publicist who traveled to Georgia to harass and threaten a poll worker Trump accused of ballot stuffing. Those claims have long since been proven baseless and false, but that hasn’t stopped his fanatics from harping on a supposed fraud in the 2020 elections, which he lost by a significant margin.
What does that mean for Kanye in the future? That probably depends on how much Kanye himself knew about the firms he was hiring — but the entire situation looks suspicious, considering the campaign almost exclusively employed Republican firms which had ties to Trump himself. For what it’s worth, it seems that either way, he didn’t really seem to know what he was paying for, issuing six-figure payments to advisors way after he was effectively out of the race. His previous violations of fundraising standards were reported, so it seems that the campaign’s reputation for disorganization was well-founded.
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