As Kanye West’s critically well-received Donda era continues, his failed 2020 presidential campaign remains under intense scrutiny, most recently in an expansive new report that builds significantly on concerns that have been raised since the effort’s launch.
As laid out by the Daily Beast on Friday, Ye’s campaign—which was billed as an independent political move and became the subject of numerous headlines leading up to the volatile POTUS election—seemingly went to great lengths to hide “potentially millions of dollars” in services it got from a network of GOP “operatives.” Among these operatives, the report states, were advisers who worked with individuals considered to be part of the Republican “elite.”
The crux of the Beast piece is that Ye’s 2020 campaign didn’t report paying some of those GOP advisers or “operatives,” meaning—as has been speculated on previously (including, in a broader sense, by 50 Cent)—federal laws may have been violated.
Experts and various political watchdog organizations contributed assessments to the latest report on Kanye’s 2020 campaign, including Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) communications director Jordan Libowitz. Per Libowitz, Yeezy was a “plant” benefitting the Republican party.
“It’s pretty clear Kanye was a GOP plant, whether he knew it or not,” he said.
Adding to questions over whether West was fully aware of all that was in motion as part of his campaign are comments from John Boyd, who has been repeatedly described as a “spiritual adviser” for Ye and was highlighted in a widely excerpted New York Times report last September.
“He had companies, individuals working for him, I don’t even know if he knew what they were doing that deeply,” Boyd said. “That’s my personal view. There were definitely agendas out there that perhaps he didn’t have full control over.”
Mentioned heavily in the Beast report is the firm Holtzman Vogel, whose stated practice areas include campaign finance and election law. More specifically, the firm has links to both Trump and the Honest Elections Project, a group that was previously reported to have dumped hundreds of thousands of dollars into an ad campaign against mail-in voting options.
Complex has reached out to a rep for Ye for comment and will update this post accordingly. To read the full (and remarkably in-depth) report from the Daily Beast, click here.
West’s embrace of Trumpism was recently among the topics touched on in an interview with Kim Kardashian, who expressed regret over arguing with him about being adamant about wearing a MAGA hat on Saturday Night Live. Ye’s support of Trump, despite also running for POTUS in 2020, remains a source of likely permanent contention among many fans.
Notably, Trump ultimately lost the election to former VP Joe Biden. The bulk of Trump-focused coverage in the months since has dealt with the fatal Capitol riot, as well as the ensuing sentencing of those involved.