Robert Mercer is a reclusive, multimillionaire hedge-fund manager and a major financier of Trump’s two presidential campaigns. In 2016 he donated $15.5 million to the pro-Trump Make America Number 1 PAC and in 2020 the Mercer Family Foundation funneled an estimated $20 million in dark money to DonorsTrust, which is not legally required to disclose donors or the destinations of their contributions.
With a background in computer science, Mercer is the co-CEO of Renaissance Technologies LLC, an American investment management firm, and in 2016 was a stakeholder in Cambridge Analytica, a U.K. data mining firm that obtained Facebook data to help influence both the November 2016 U.S. presidential election and the June 2016 British “Brexit” campaign. He was also a shareholder in Breitbart News before selling his stake to his daughters.
Through the Mercer Family Foundation, he has supported numerous right-wing causes. The foundation donated nearly $4 million to the Government Accountability Institute, a far-right organization founded by Steve Bannon with deep ties to organizations such as Citizens United, Breitbart.com, the American Conservative Union, the Young America’s Foundation, and the Hoover Institution.
January 6, 2021
- Mercer and his daughter Rebekah gave $1.5 million to super PACs supporting Kelli Ward, Arizona Republican party chair, over two election cycles. In the lead-up to the insurrection, Ward and the Arizona GOP tweeted numerous messages supporting violence and hostility, such as a Jan. 4 message that read, “This is what we do, who we are. Live for nothing, or die for something.”
- In the past, Mercer has donated to Black Conservatives Fund, a PAC that used social media to encourage its members to attend the rally and march that preceded the violent attack on the Capitol.
- The Mercer family’s funding to Parler, a right-wing social media platform, facilitated a space for planning the insurrection.
The Big Lie
- The Mercer family contributed approximately $20 million to DonorsTrust, a dark money 501(c)(3) organization that supported groups pushing claims of election fraud both before and after Biden defeated Trump in 2020.
- Mercer financially backed many congressional Republicans who objected to certifying the 2020 presidential election and spread misinformation about supposed election fraud, including Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), along with Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.).
- Mercer’s family funds the right-wing social media platform Parler, which was founded by his daughter Rebekah and has been a major source of misinformation about purported election fraud in the U.S.