The campaign committee for Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) reported its first net loss on Friday, posting a $314,000 deficit over the first three months of 2022 while additionally revising previous contribution totals down by more than $100,000.
About half of that loss is represented in fees to Donald Trump’s top Jan. 6 attorney and a security detail that protected Kyle Rittenhouse during his trial last year.
While Greene has always traded steep fees for slightly higher returns, she’s always managed to come out on top—until now.
Last quarter she sprung a hole in the bucket, as her campaign committee, Greene for Congress, spent about $1.38 million while taking in only $1.06 million in donations. Fundraising costs alone wiped out three-quarters of those receipts.
Greene has deployed expensive digital fundraising operations in the past, and reports have dinged her for it, pointing out that the fees give the lie to an inflated small-dollar contribution stream.
Last quarter, however, MAGAworld’s leading lady bet big on direct mail, sinking more than $400,000 into printing, postage, and associated expenses. When that money was added to consulting, list rental, and digital fees, Greene for Congress spent more than $735,000 on its fundraising efforts.
To make matters worse, the same day the campaign filed its new report, it also filed three amended versions of previous reports from last year, admitting that the committee had overstated contributions by more than $100,000. The campaign currently holds about $3 million in cash on hand, which represents a net gain of about $900,000 over the last 12 months.
Greene also spent big elsewhere this year, most specifically for personal security, racking up about $140,000 in expenses. Almost all of that went in three monthly payments to a Knoxville-based executive protection company called the KaJor Group, which also handled security for Kenosha shooter Kyle Rittenhouse during his trial last year.
For Greene, who prior to the 2020 election had received protection free of charge from members of the Oath Keepers anti-government militia group, this is an extraordinary surge in security costs.
Last year, it was mostly Democrats who took advantage of the Federal Election Commission’s post-insurrection ruling that elected officials can hire bodyguards with campaign funds. That year, Sens. Raphael Warnock, Jon Ossoff, and Mark Kelly shelled out hundreds of thousands of dollars for personal protection, while Greene for Congress reported protective expenses just north of $12,000, nearly half of it for an electronic security system. That’s less than 10 percent of what she paid the Kajor Group last quarter.
It’s not immediately clear why Greene hired the new firm. Asked about the expenses, which first appeared in late January, a campaign spokesperson told The Daily Beast, “I’m not going to get into details about her security due to the sensitive nature of it.”
The spokesperson did, however, cite an uptick in threats to the congresswoman, including the arrest last month of a New York man who had made threatening calls to Greene’s D.C. office.
“Our staff has reported over 20 threats to Capitol Police in the past week,” the spokesperson said in a text message, along with a link to Greene’s response to a controversial recent segment on Jimmy Kimmel Live.
The spokesperson added that Greene also received “a significant amount” of threats in January, surrounding the one-year anniversary of the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.
A few days after the Jan. 6 anniversary, Greene suggested using guns to defend against Democrats.
“Ultimately, the truth is it’s our Second Amendment rights, our right to bear arms, that protects Americans and gives us the ability to defend ourselves from a tyrannical government,” Greene told right-wing talk host Seb Gorka on Jan. 11. “And I hate to use this language, but Democrats, they’re exactly… they’re doing exactly what our Founders talked about when they gave us the precious rights that we have.”
Rita Katz, executive director of the SITE Intelligence Group, which tracks extremist groups, told The Hill that those comments carry weight.
“Some lawmakers are indeed a source of threats. Comments from figures like Marjorie Taylor Greene are regularly shared and converted into rallying cries for some segments of the far-right,” Katz said.
Greene appears to have extended her ties to Jan. 6 in more ways than one.
Three days after her Second Amendment remarks, the Greene campaign hired Trump legal adviser John Eastman, laying down a $10,000 retainer for his firm, the Constitutional Counsel Group, on Jan. 14.
Eastman, a conservative legal scholar who devised the plan to subvert the Electoral College count, was at Trump’s side on Jan. 6, and remains a central focus of the congressional investigation into the events surrounding the insurrection.
Greene currently faces a constitutional challenge to her candidacy for giving aid to Jan. 6 insurrectionists, and while a number of outside attorney applications remain under court seal, that lawsuit was filed in March, several weeks after Eastman was paid. Neither Greene nor her campaign appear in state court records in their home of Floyd County, GA.
Asked why the campaign had hired Eastman, the campaign provided a statement suggesting that the matter involved constitutional concerns, but did not elaborate further.
“Dr. Eastman is one of the leading constitutional attorneys in the country. When we need advice on significant constitutional issues, we have occasionally sought his counsel,” the statement said. “The particular issues for which we sought his advice are protected by attorney-client privilege, however.”