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Hackers Steal Money From Anti-Trump Super PAC, The Lincoln Project

Source: Wikimedia/Michael Vadon

American politics is a money game. The two-party system thrives because the only people who can make a dent in the national scheme are those who can afford to. Individuals like Donald Trump have proven that they’re able to beautifully game the system, and this has led to organizations rising up to tackle them head-on.

An Unusual Political Figure

Trump is an unusual figure in national politics. While he currently is a member of the Republican party, that wasn’t always the case. Trump has been a part of multiple political parties throughout his life, including the Democratic Party.

Source: Wikimedia/Gage Skidmore

Given his national persona, as well as the fact that he is best known for his business dealings and as a reality star who once hosted The Apprentice, it was surprising that Trump decided to run for President at all. There are some who believe that Trump’s first presidential run was actually a publicity stunt and that he never intended to be president at all, but he ultimately won the White House, anyway.

Jumpstarting a Divided Period

Trump winning the 2016 election kickstarted a deeply divided period in American politics. His bombastic way of speaking appealed to many Americans, who saw Trump as an every man type who understood their way of life, and the struggles that they endured.

Source: Wikimedia/Anthony Crider

The hyperbole and straight lies that he spouted served to divide conservatives, both moderate and far-right, from liberals even further. Racist and sexist sentiment rose dramatically in the months and years since Trump took the presidential office, and many social psychologists believe that the man himself is to blame for the shift in American culture.

Following Trump to the Bitter End

Trump’s cult of personality expanded during his presidency. His most fervent followers only fell further down the Trump rabbit hole, and those who disliked him found even more to dislike the longer that he was in the White House.

Source: Wikimedia/Tyler Merbler

Trump’s political popularity, as well as the lies that he told while running his re-election campaign in 2020, culminated explosively after his loss in November. Trump’s push of the Big Lie – the idea that the only way that Joe Biden could possibly beat Trump would be if the Democrats had stolen the election – riled up his base beyond the point of no return. 

The Stop the Steal Rally

This led to the events of January 6, 2021, a day that has become infamous in American history. Trump supporters gathered in front of the Capitol of the United States while Congress was in session to certify the election, allegedly to protest the “stolen” election that they believed that Trump had won. 

Source: Wikimedia/Gage Skidmore / Wikimedia/krassotkin

Things quickly turned violent, though, with those same supporters storming the capitol and breaking into the building. They disrupted the session of Congress for hours, and the certification of the election was only able to continue after the Trump supporters were cleared off the capitol grounds once and for all.

The Fallout of the Attack on the Capitol

The events of that day led to more than 1000 people being tracked down and arrested by the FBI, including the heads of terrorist organizations such as the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers. Many individuals have been charged with felonies regarding their actions of that day, with some being charged with seditious conspiracy against the United States of America.

Source: Wikimedia/The White House

Donald Trump has even been charged with his actions regarding the election, and the events of that day. He’s currently facing two separate cases regarding the 2020 election, one regarding the election results in Georgia, and one concerning the events of January 6 itself. Both cases are currently pending appeal, and it seems unlikely that the president will be seeing the inside of a courtroom for either case, at least not this year.

A Controversial Political Career

Trump’s initial election, his presidency, his re-election campaign, and now his third election campaign have all been mired in controversy. It has created an environment where hardcore Trump supporters believe that everyone else is against them, and where those who don’t support Donald Trump fear for what might happen if he should get back into power.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Organizations have sprung up to stop that possibility from happening. One such organization, The Lincoln Project, has made a name for themselves for their anti-Trump work, including expensive attack ads that have been run this year.

About the Lincoln Project

The Lincoln project is a centrist American PAC, which was founded in December of 2019 by moderate conservatives and former Republican party members. The intent of the group was to prevent the re-election of Trump, and defeat incumbent Republican candidates who were running for re-election, and who were loyalists to Trump. 

Source: Facebook/The Lincoln Project

In 2020, the Lincoln Project endorsed Joe Biden in his run for president, and committed volunteers, dollars, and air time to helping ensure that Biden was elected to office. Their efforts were successful, and it appears that they’re engaging in similar tactics this year, with the goal of preventing Trump from being elected back to the White House.

An Important Contributor to Biden’s Career

While the Lincoln Project hasn’t donated money to the Biden campaign directly, they have played an important part in Biden’s presidential career. First in helping to get him elected in the first place, and second in helping his re-election campaign this year.

Source: Wikimedia/David Lienemann

These sorts of political contributions, necessarily, require money. As a super PAC, the Lincoln Project accepts donations from both small and large donors, and is transparent with the way that these funds are spent to ensure the continuation of democracy.

A Recent Financial Slip Up

As with all large organizations, though, there are going to be financial slip ups, and the Lincoln project recently experienced one. 

Source: Pexels/Anna Nekrashevich

A spokesman from the Lincoln Project, Greg Minchak, recently confirmed that the anti-Trump super PAC lost $35,000 to a business email compromise (BEC) scam in February of this year. 

A Statement from The Lincoln Project

Michak described a class BEC incident in his statement. “A vendor’s email was hacked, with the hackers producing authentic-looking invoices that were sent from our vendor’s legitimate email account. The hack affected multiple clients of the vendor, including the Lincoln project.”

Source: Pexels/Pixabay

Two transactions were reported to the Federal Election Commission 12 days apart in February on behalf of the Lincoln Project – for $20,000 and $15,000 – both of which the Lincoln Project reported as “fraudulent” and “under dispute.”

About BEC Scams

BEC scams are one of the top four major cybercrime threats to US networks. They target a range of entities, from small local businesses to large corporations, as well as personal transactions. 

Source: Pexels/Leeloo The First

The rise of email and the internet has made these types of online scams that much easier to perpetrate, and social media has added another ingredient to the mix to make scamming that much simpler. Rates of cybercrime skyrocketed between 2013 and 2022, and in 2022 alone, rates of BEC scams increased by over 81%. 

Well-Known Targets for Scams

The commonality of BEC scams makes it understandable that the Lincoln Project might be another victim of scammers. Well-known organizations are often targeted for these sorts of scams, and political organizations are no exception to that.

Source: Pexels/energepic

The statement from Minchak concluded that the “transactions did not impact our operations in any way in the fight for a democratic future for our nation. Since it was the vendor that was hacked, we are letting them and our bank’s fraud department lead any investigation.”

Continuing in the Good Work of Politics

While the scam that the Lincoln Project reported is an inconvenience, it’s clear that they won’t allow it to stop them from doing the work that they’ve committed to, which is the work of saving democracy.

Source: Element5 Digital

And, though $35,000 might seem like a lot of money to the layperson, in terms of the amount of money the Lincoln Project brings in, it’s pennies. In 2020, the super PAC announced that they had raised more than $80 million in pursuit of their agenda, so while this scam is a very minor setback, it is far from something that will break the Lincoln Project’s bank.

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James Cross

Written by James Cross

James Cross, an enigmatic writer from the historic city of Boston. James' writing delves into mysteries, true crime, and the unexplained, crafting compelling narratives that keep readers and viewers on the edge of their seats. His viral articles, blog posts, and documentary-style videos explore real-life enigmas and unsolved cases, inviting audiences to join the quest for answers. James' ability to turn real mysteries into shareable content has made him a sensation in the world of storytelling.

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