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The billionaire owner of the San Francisco Giants is coming under scrutiny for donating to the campaign of freshman Rep. Lauren Boebert, the Colorado Republican who has pushed for her right to carry a concealed firearm on Capitol grounds.
Charles B. Johnson and wife Ann both donated $2,800 to Boebert’s successful campaign, according to NBC Sports, which cited recent Federal Election Commission filings.
But the donations have now been criticized following comments by Boebert amid the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol Building as a joint session of Congress was meeting to certify the Electoral College results for President-elect Joe Biden.
As the riot was progressing, Boebert tweeted that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) had been removed from her chambers, leading several in Congress to call for her removal from the House.
Also, in July Boebert was blasted by political opponents for saying she hoped that Q, of “QAnon” fame, was “real” — a reference to the conspiracy theory that the individual is a high-ranking government official exposing what the ‘deep state’ has “done” to harm American citizens.
Johnson was criticized by Pelosi’s daughter, Christine, as well as Giants play-by-play announcer Renel Brooks-Moon.
“This is pathetic. This is about felony murder and it’s about someone who tweeted the whereabouts of a person that was a target of an assassination,” Christine Pelosi told the Sacramento Bee.
On Friday, Michael Sherwin, the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, announced that federal investigators have found no evidence of any “kill/capture teams” targeting elected officials during the riot, NPR reported, contracting earlier claims by federal prosecutors in Arizona.
Nevertheless, Johnson, 88, issued a statement following the pushback, noting that he was unaware of Boebert’s “QAnon” claim.
“Like most of the country, I watched in dismay as our Capitol was overrun last week,” he said. “I hope that those who engaged in or encouraged violence are held accountable for their behavior.
“I have a long history of giving political contributions to Republican and some Democratic candidates who share my strong belief in a free market system. My contributions are mine alone and are not associated in any way with the San Francisco Giants,” he added.
“It is often difficult to predict the future behavior of candidates and I would never have imagined that any legitimate candidate would participate in undermining the core values of our great country. Nor was I aware that any candidate to whom I contributed was associated with QAnon,” Johnson continued.
“I strongly believe in our democratic system where our elected representatives can engage in vigorous debate in the halls of government, free from violence and intimidation and in a peaceful and respectful manner. I hope we can return to this tradition that has served our great country so well for so long.”
Separately, the Associated Press reported that Major League Baseball has suspended all political donations following the Capitol riot earlier this month. The AP added that the MLB is the first major sports league to do so.
“In light of the unprecedented events last week at the U.S. Capitol, MLB is suspending contributions from its Political Action Committee pending a review of our political contribution policy going forward,” the league said last week in a statement to the newswire.
ESPN reported in 2020 that Johnson has given roughly $11 million over the past five years to GOP candidates. Since 2000, he has donated to the campaigns of former House Speaker John Boehner, now-Sen. Mitt Romney, and Ben Quayle, a former U.S. representative from Arizona and the son of former Vice President Dan Quayle.
During the recently concluded election cycle, Johnson gave money to Republicans Tommy Tuberville, Jeff Van Drew, Burgess Owens, Kelly Loeffler, David Perdue, Madison Cawthorn, and Laura Loomer.
His final donations went to Loeffler and Perdue as they fought losing battles in Georgia to keep their Senate seats.
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