Trump-connected lobbyists reap windfall in federal virus aid
July 7, 2020
WASHINGTON - Forty lobbyists with ties to President Donald Trump helped clients secure more than $10 billion in federal coronavirus aid, among them five former administration officials whose work potentially violates Trump's own ethics policy, according to a report.
The lobbyists identified Monday by the watchdog group Public Citizen either worked in the Trump executive branch, served on his campaign, were part of the committee that raised money for inaugural festivities or were part of his presidential transition. Many are donors to Trump's campaigns, and some are prolific fundraisers for his reelection.
They include Brian Ballard, who served on the transition, is the finance chair for the Republican National Committee and has bundled more than $1 million for Trump's fundraising committees. He was hired in March by Laundrylux, a supplier of commercial laundry machines, after the Department of Homeland Security issued guidance that didn't include laundromats as essential businesses that could stay open during the lockdown. A week later, the administration issued new guidance adding laundromats to the list.