HomeTrading NewsTrump allies are helping Overstock founder Byrne run group that pushes false election claims

Trump allies are helping Overstock founder Byrne run group that pushes false election claims

Patrick M. Byrne, then chairman and chief executive officer of Overstock.com, stands for a photo at an Overstock warehouse in Salt Lake City, Utah, U.S., on Thursday, April 29, 2010.
George Frey | Bloomberg | Getty Images

A former Trump administration aide and a leader with a pro-Trump Christian group are helping Patrick Byrne, the multimillionaire Overstock founder and ex-CEO, run a nonprofit that has pushed false election conspiracy claims, according to a filing reviewed by CNBC.

The group, called the America Project, is led in part by Emily Newman, who served as an advisor in then-President Donald Trump’s administration, according to the document. The disclosure report was filed this month in Delaware, according to Florida’s division of corporations website. The America Project has a mailing address in Sarasota, Fla.

Rob Weaver, who has a leadership role with the Jericho March, a pro-Trump Christian coalition, is listed on the form as the group’s chief financial officer.

Byrne has previously said he pumped $1 million into the group. The nonprofit organization isn’t legally required to disclose its donors.

The America Project spent over $3 million funding an election audit in Arizona that ended up showing Joe Biden defeated Trump in Maricopa County. Its website also lists three videos that claim there were major irregularities in the 2020 election. Federal and state officials have said there was no widespread voter fraud in the last election.

Byrne isn’t the only wealthy businessman making false, pro-Trump claims about the election being rigged. MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell told CNBC that he has spent $25 million pursuing his own election crusade.

The revelation about the America Project’s leadership comes as a House select committee investigates the deadly Capitol Hill riot on Jan. 6 and Trump allies’ roles in organizing the events that preceded the insurrection. Lawmakers that day were voting to confirm Biden’s Electoral College victory over Trump. Trump himself has continued to push lies about the election.

Newman was White House liaison to the Department of Health and Human Services in Trump’s administration, and later became a chief of staff to the then-head of the U.S. Agency for Global Media, Michael Pack. She later worked with Trump legal advisor Sidney Powell and other lawyers on a failed election lawsuit in Michigan that challenged the results in that state. Biden won Michigan.

Byrne and Newman were among a group of Trump loyalists who met with the then-president last December at the White House to convince him to use his presidential powers to try to continue to fight the results of the election, according to reporting by Axios. Powell was also reportedly at the White House meeting.

Weaver was an organizer of the Jericho March’s rally in Washington, D.C., last December, according to a permit filed to the U.S. Department of the Interior. The permit says the event was meant to include a “prayer and worship demonstration, consisting of a peaceful protest, prayer and fasting, in support of election integrity, transparency and reform.”

Michael Flynn, a former national security advisor to Trump who was pardoned by the former commander in chief, was a featured speaker at the Jericho March event.

Flynn is featured in a video promoting The America Project. One of his brothers, Joseph Flynn, can be seen in multiple videos on the group’s Rumble account. Michael Flynn was among a group of Trump allies who were subpoenaed by the House select committee investigating the deadly riot on Capitol Hill that took place on Jan. 6.

Byrne, who was also longtime CEO of online furniture retailer Overstock, has an estimated net worth of about $75 million, according to data compiled by Celebrity Net Worth. Earlier this year, he self-published a book called “The Deep Rig: How Election Fraud Cost Donald J. Trump the White House, By a Man Who Did Not Vote for Him.” Byrne told the New Tang Dynasty network earlier this year that he had contributed at least $1 million to the America Project.

In that interview, in which he announced the group’s founding, Byrne said the 2020 election was a “fraudulent election,” a claim multiple government officials on both sides of the aisle have said is not true. Former Trump Attorney General William Barr, for instance, has said that there was no widespread election fraud during the 2020 presidential election.

During that interview with NTD, Byrne did not name the people who were working for the group, but described them as “killers” and “savvy operators who I’m working with to continue the fight.” He went on to say that “we have very smart, shrewd insiders, who are making the moves that you want made.”

While the Arizona audit the group help fund had found a few voting discrepancies within Maricopa County during the 2020 election, the leaders of the county said that it also proved that Biden won there, which is Arizona’s largest county.

Representatives for The America Project did not return a request for comment.

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