Students for Trump is an advocacy group based in Phoenix, Arizona and founded by Ryan Fournier and John Lambert in 2015. Since Turning Point USA acquired Students for Trump in July 2019, it has been led by Charlie Kirk. Students for Trump is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit subsidiary of Turning Point Action, also a 501(c)(4) nonprofit. Several partners are listed on the Students for Trump website, including FreedomWorks, America First Policies, Heritage Action for America, and Young Americans for Liberty. Describing itself as “a platform unlike any other conservative candidate has enjoyed in previous election cycles,” Students for Trump organizes events featuring right-wing speakers and manages several social media accounts.
In May 2021, Lambert, the organization’s co-founder, was sentenced to 13 months in prison after pleading guilty to posing as a lawyer and scamming clients out of $46,000. He had pretended to be an attorney named Eric Pope with over a decade of legal experience. Students for Trump has since removed his name from its website, only listing Fournier as a founder.
January 6, 2021
- Students for Trump organized at least seven buses to transport over 350 people to the Save America rally on the Ellipse that preceded the Capitol insurrection. Andrew Kolvet, a spokesperson for Turning Point Action, claimed that rioter Robert Sanford, who was charged with assault, had not gotten to Washington on one of the Students for Trump buses.
The Big Lie
- On June 23, 2020, Trump spoke at a Students for Trump event in Phoenix where he warned that the November election would be “the most corrupt election in the history of our country” and made false claims unfounded by facts about the prevalence of election fraud across the country.
- After the 2020 election, Fournier said that he had definitive proof of widespread voter fraud in Detroit related to votes cast by dead people. The claims were quickly debunked by family members of the deceased.