Julie Fancelli, the subject of a Washington Post drive-by attack, has contributed millions of dollars to charity through a family foundation. She also contributes generously to conservative political candidates.
In late December of last year, she made substantial contributions to groups sponsoring and promoting the January 6 protest rally in Washington, D.C. The money apparently was used to pay travel and hotel expenses for some of the pro-Trump protesters.
Fancelli had said she did not want Trump to “step down” from the presidency and wanted Congress to overturn Joe Biden’s election victory. However, she also says she did not expect the January 6 protest to turn violent and does not support the violence that occurred.
The Washington Post’s lengthy hit piece on Fancelli provides no reason for disbelieving her. Nor am I aware of any.
Yet, Fancelli is under attack by House Democrats for her financial contributions in furtherance of the protest. Rep. Bennie Thompson, chairman of the committee investigating the events of January 6, says he believes that Fancelli “played a strong role” in helping to finance” the rally. The Mississippi partisan adds, “we’re trying to follow the money.”
But why? Fancelli had every right to contribute money to protesters.
The protests were misguided and, in my view, sought the wrong result given the vote counts and the disposition of challenges thereto. So what? Americans have a constitutional right to protest on behalf of misguided causes that seek wrong results. Left-wingers do it all the time.
Similarly, Americans have the right to support misguided protests financially, without having to worry about being investigated by Congress. If not, we no longer live in a free country.
Kamala Harris promoted a fund that bailed out BLM protesters after they had engaged in unlawful conduct. One of them was charged with attempted murder for shooting at police officers. Another was charged with looting three different stores.
If Democrats are going to investigate Fancelli for supporting protesters before they did anything unlawful, maybe Republicans should investigate Harris if (as seems likely) they regain control of the House in January 2023.
It isn’t just Bennie Thompson and his partisan crew that’s trying to make trouble for Fancelli. The Washington Post is, as well.
And it’s doing so disingenuously. The headline of its story about Fancelli is “Low-profile heiress who ‘played a strong role’ in financing Jan. 6 rally is thrust into spotlight.”
But it’s the Washington Post that’s doing the “thrusting.” Until the Post published its report, virtually no one knew that Fancelli is being investigated by Thompson’s committee. Few had any idea who she is. Now readers of the Post’s article know not only who Fancelli is, but which candidates she contributes money to and, indeed, a potted history of her adult life.
Moreover, the title of the print edition of the story says that Fancelli funded “Jan. 6,” not the “Jan. 6 rally.” The Post thus invited readers to believe she funded the violence that occurred that day. This is what people, especially readers of the Post, think of when they see “Jan. 6.”
It’s good that the Post provided a less misleading title in the internet version of the story. But it still misled those who read the paper edition.
More insidious is the premise of the Post’s story — that there’s something troubling, and maybe worthy of investigating, when someone contributes money to a protest rally. Any American who believes in freedom surely agrees with GOP fundraiser Caroline Wren. She told the Post:
The funding behind the First Amendment rally at the White House Ellipse was entirely lawful and consistent with the rights Ms. Fancelli has as an American citizen.
Unfortunately, this quotation does not appear until well into the Post’s article. But it’s all that needed to be said about the matter and, in fact, should really go without saying.