Chuck Johnson, an alt-right activist who Florida Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz controversially invited to a January 2018 State of the Union address, is the likely source of a dark money bitcoin contribution to a pro-Gaetz super PAC.
Gaetz previously distanced himself from Johnson after drawing criticism from the Anti-defamation League and the Republican Jewish Coalition, both of which identify Johnson as a holocaust denier.
Johnson wrote in a Reddit Q&A that he has “never believed the six million figure,” and supports claims from Holocaust deniers “about Auschwitz and the gas chambers not being real.” He has since claimed that his comments were actually part of an experiment to test the site’s “commitments to free speech against fake hate speech.”
For his part, Gaetz has resisted calls from the Republican Jewish Caucus to label Johnson a holocaust denier, insisting that the alt-right figure is simply a “provoker.”
In May 2018, a company linked to Johnson made a $25,000 bitcoin contribution to Florida Conservative Fund, a super PAC that spent at least $44,700 in support of Gaetz’s reelection campaign. While the committee is a single-candidate super PAC — it exclusively spent in support of Gaetz — it isn’t formally associated with Gaetz’s campaign, and the two are not allowed to coordinate with each other under FEC regulations.
The contribution was attributed to “Castar Capital,” a since-dissolved limited liability company formed in Wyoming. Public filings list Johnson as the company’s CEO and its address as a mailbox rental in a shipping store.
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