A woman who worked with former President Donald Trump to try to overturn the 2020 election results is now hosting a fundraiser for a US Senate candidate in North Carolina.
Trump adviser Cleta Mitchell, a Pinehurst resident who has been mentioned repeatedly throughout January 6, 2021 coverage and the congressional committee hearings, is hosting a fundraiser for Rep. Ted Budd on Aug. 15. Budd is running to replace retired Senator Richard Burr.
“We’re great with it,” said Jonathan Felts, Budd’s senior advisor. “Like many people leaving DC and other high-tax jurisdictions, she decided North Carolina was a great place to retire, and we’re excited about this event.” It’s going to be a great event.”
Mitchell, a conservative attorney, is best known for calling Trump when he called Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. During the call, Trump challenged Raffensperger to find enough votes in Georgia to tip the state’s election result in his favor, the Washington Post first reported.
The newspaper’s coverage led to Mitchell resigning from her law practice.
When asked if he was concerned that someone so involved in the Jan. 6 investigation was involved in a fundraiser for Budd, Felts said he wasn’t sure what a reporter was referring to.
“We were endorsed by President Trump and the Democrats used the same message against (Budd) which now dates back to March of last year, so it didn’t have a huge impact in the primary and I don’t think it will have a huge impact in the general election .”
Dory MacMillan, a spokeswoman for Budd’s Democratic opponent Cheri Beasley, said she wasn’t surprised.
“Given Congressman Budd’s track record of siding with special interests and wealthy donors in relation to the North Carolinians, it’s not surprising that Congressman Budd is more focused on spending time with aloof mega-donors telling the big lie spread than with hard-working North Carolinians,” MacMillan said.
Aidan Johnson, a spokesman for American Bridge 21st Century, which conducts anti-Republican research, tweeted a shot of Budd He called the January 6 rioters “patriots.”
“It should come as no surprise that Ted Budd, who dubbed the violent rioters killed by cops on Jan. 6 ‘patriots,’ is raising funds with a central figure in the former president’s plan to illegally overturn the 2020 election ‘ Johnson said.
On Jan. 6, 2021, as insurgents broke into the US Capitol to try to stop President Joe Biden’s election certificate, the Washington Post reported, there was a seven-hour lull in calls to and from the White House. When Trump started making calls again, some of his first ones went to two North Carolina residents — former Chief Justice Mark Martin and Mitchell.
The Jan. 6 committee hearings also proved that it was Mitchell who recruited attorney John Eastman to write a memo on the constitutional role that state legislatures play in choosing voters. She testified after being subpoenaed by the committee that plans to do so came immediately after the election and possibly even before it.
Connections to North Carolina
Mitchell is closely associated with three other North Carolinians: Amy Kate Budd, wife of Ted Budd, and Debra and Mark Meadows, who served as Trump’s chief of staff and was the congressman representing the Asheville area.
When Meadows is affiliated with an organization, Mitchell’s name usually follows as the organization’s attorney.
That’s true of Debra Meadows’ Right Women PAC, of which Amy Kate Budd is an advisory member.
Right Women PAC, a political action committee aimed at finding conservative women for election to Congress, recently significantly increased its legal fees by paying a high-profile law firm known for handling white-collar crime and congressional investigations.
Edgy GOP opponents
Budd’s fundraiser includes another connection to the former president: Trump’s daughter-in-law, Lara Trump.
At one point, Lara Trump, who grew up in Wilmington, considered running against Budd for Burr’s seat. But last summer, Lara Trump decided against running, and at the GOP state convention in Greenville, the former president announced his support for Budd.
Many believe that the support and financial backing of the Club for Growth, a political action committee that has supported Budd throughout his political career, gave Budd the advantage of winning the Republican nomination over former Gov. Pat McCrory and former U.S. Rep to win Mark Walker.
Budd Trails at fundraising
Despite Club for Growth financial backing, Budd Beasley is lagging behind in fundraising. Beasley raised $7.4 million last quarter versus Budd’s $2.1 million.
To participate in the Budd fundraiser on August 15, invited guests must pay between $200 and $5,800. The highest priced ticket will receive the name of the guest listed as the host on the invitation along with Mitchells.
The fundraiser will be held at a private home in Southern Pines. The exact address will not be disclosed until a donor agrees to pay.