Trump-aligned nonprofit pays $100k in legal fees for Nevada ‘fake electors’

A nonprofit organization aligned with former President Trump paid $100,000 of legal fees for the six so-called “fake electors” in Nevada, according to people familiar with the payment.

Personnel Policy Operations, or PPO, shelled out the fees to assist the Trump-supporting electors who faced charges for falsely claiming the former president won the state in the 2020 presidential election. The case was dismissed Friday after a judge ruled the Nevada attorney general’s office chose the wrong venue in which to file it.

“There’s a strong and wide network of America First patriots doing our best to support each other and prevent the unjust weaponization of our legal system,” Joshua Whitehouse, director of strategy at the nonprofit, told The Hill. “PPO serves as one of the hubs for said network.”

PPO aligns itself with the Reagan-era adage that “personnel is policy,” describing its aim as providing support and resources to “conservative, America First civil servants and their advisors.” Its mission echoes that of the conservative Heritage Foundation’s Project 2025, a sweeping effort to advance right-wing policies and prepare for a possible second Trump presidency.

Troup Hemenway, the group’s president, joined Project 2025 as a senior advisor and associate director of personnel placement last fall. He previously worked in Trump’s White House in the Presidential Personnel Office, which shares an acronym with the legal fundraising group. Others in leadership positions at PPO, including Whitehouse, also worked under the former president.

Hemenway said that PPO does not provide funds to defendants but instead pays their fees directly, confirming the group contributed “a substantial six-figure sum to support the legal defense of the Nevada patriots.”

“We will continue to help fight lawfare in this country as we aim to restore American greatness,” he added.

The financial assistance came from the group’s Courage Under Fire Legal Defense Fund, which has lent cash to Trump allies, like John Eastman and Jeffrey Clark, in their various legal matters, according to a person associated with the organization. The Washington Post first reported the fund’s existence in May.

The Hill requested comment from Brian Hardy, an attorney for Durand James Hindle III, one of the pro-Trump electors, who helped coordinate the payment.

The alternate electors in the Silver State were scheduled to head to trial in January before the case was dismissed on Friday. It’s the first case against any slate of pro-Trump electors to be thrown out.

John Sadler, a spokesperson for the Nevada attorney general, told The Hill Friday that the office intends to appeal the decision “immediately.”

The electors who were charged were Hindle, Michael McDonald, Jesse Law, Jim DeGraffenreid, Shawn Meehan and Eileen Rice. They each faced felony charges of offering a false instrument for filing and uttering a forged document, which carry penalties up to four or five years in prison.

Now-President Biden won Nevada by more than 33,000 votes in 2020. But Trump lawyers spearheaded a scheme that relied on former Vice President Mike Pence to certify slates of pro-Trump electors in battleground states instead of the true Electoral College votes cast for Biden.

Pence refused on Jan. 6, 2021, the date the election was formally certified, after which a mob stormed the Capitol as the certification was underway.

Fake electors in Michigan, Georgia and Arizona also face criminal charges in connection with the plot.

Some Trump lawyers have been charged over their roles, and the former president himself faces federal and state charges in connection with efforts to swing the 2020 presidential election in his favor. He has pleaded not guilty in both cases.

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