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House GOP takes cash from casino mogul accused of misconduct

WASHINGTON (AP) – A major House Republican fundraising committee overseen by GOP Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy received over $770,000 from Steve Wynn, a Las Vegas casino mogul who stepped down from his company in 2018 after multiple women accused him of sexual misconduct.

The donation, which Wynn made in late March, was one of the largest given so far this election cycle to Take Back the House 2022, according to campaign finance disclosures made public Thursday.

The committee splits massive fundraising hauls between 59 Republican House members, as well as about 20 other GOP political operations.

The acceptance of the sum amounts to a reversal by McCarthy, who in 2018 joined a growing chorus of Republicans who said they would donate campaign cash given by Wynn to charity after the misconduct allegations surfaced.

Wynn has denied the allegations.

The contribution underscores Republicans‘ willingness to look beyond the messy and potentially problematic backgrounds of some donors as they embark on the massively expensive task of attempting to wrest control of the House back from Democrats.

In a brief statement Friday, McCarthy did not address his decision to accept money from Wynn after previously rejecting it.

„Steve Wynn is one of the great innovators in the history of modern capitalism. I thank him for his continued support, and I look forward to working with him to retake the House Majority,“ McCarthy said.

FILE - This March 15, 2016, file photo, shows casino mogul Steve Wynn at a news conference in Medford, Mass. A House Republican fundraising committee controlled by Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy received over $770,000 from Wynn, a Las Vegas casino mogul who stepped down from his company in 2018 after multiple women accused him of sexual misconduct.  That's according to campaign finance disclosures made public Thursday., April 16, 2021. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File)

FILE – This March 15, 2016, file photo, shows casino mogul Steve Wynn at a news conference in Medford, Mass.

A House Republican fundraising committee controlled by Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy received over $770,000 from Wynn, a Las Vegas casino mogul who stepped down from his company in 2018 after multiple women accused him of sexual misconduct.  That’s according to campaign finance disclosures made public Thursday., April 16, 2021.

(AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File)

Wynn declined to comment through a spokeswoman.

„He has the same rights and entitlements as any other private citizen in the United States of America,“ said Donald Campbell, an attorney for Wynn, when asked about the donations.

The misconduct allegations against Wynn came at a high-point in the #MeToo movement.

The Wall Street Journal reported that several women said the billionaire harassed or assaulted them and that one case led to a $7.5 million settlement with a manicurist formerly employed by the company.

At the time, Republicans were forcefully criticizing Democrats over past donations they accepted from movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, who was later sentenced to 23 years in prison for rape and sexual assault.

The accusations against Wynn led to his abrupt resignation from Wynn Resorts.

A prolific donor and fundraiser, he also stepped down from his post as campaign finance chairman of the Republican National Committee.

In the years since, he has kept a relatively low profile. In 2020, he donated about $700,000 to former President Donald Trump´s fundraising operation, as well as $9 million to Senate Leadership Fund, an outside group that works to elect Republican senators.

But he was otherwise largely shunned by rank-and-file Republicans in Congress.

Records show the money he gave in March has already been disbursed to at least 55 House Republicans, who each received a $5,800 legal maximum donation that was raised through Take Back the House 2022.

Democrats say that the House GOP’s acceptance of the donations indicates McCarthy was disingenuous when he previously rejected Wynn’s money.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of Calif., Thursday, April 15, 2021, speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy of Calif., Thursday, April 15, 2021, speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

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PayPal shuts down fundraising for Texas real estate agent charged in Capitol riot

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PayPal closed the account of Jenna Ryan, who’s charged with federal crimes for her participation in the Capitol riots on Jan. 6.

Getty Images

Texas real estate agent Jenna Ryan can’t accept donations on PayPal anymore, the payment processing giant said Thursday. PayPal closed her account after she made a plea online for funds to help pay for her legal costs and other losses stemming from charges filed against her for participating in the US Capitol riots on Jan. 6.

Raising legal defense funds is allowed on PayPal, but the company said Ryan was fundraising for additional purposes, which violates its policies. „If we learn that funds are used for anything other than legal defense, the account will be subject to immediate closure,“ the company said in a statement. PayPal also allows fundraising for verified, enrolled charities on its PayPal Giving Fund platform.

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Jenna Ryan tweeted Thursday asking for funds to help cover legal fees and other losses.

CNET

In an email, Ryan said she was „astounded,“ and that she’s been a PayPal customer for 20 years. „I was canceled with no warning or anything,“ Ryan said, adding that „people that have patriotic beliefs that are different from places like PayPal will need their own system of money and commerce.“

The company previously shut down the account of a right-wing website and fundraising platform that was accepting donations for people who traveled to Washington, DC, for the events of Jan. 6.

PayPal joins other tech companies that have taken down accounts for politicians and regular people involved in the Capitol riots. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other social media platforms have suspended accounts belonging to former President Donald Trump over concern that he condoned the violence at the Capitol. Amazon suspended its web hosting services for social media platform Parler because of violent posts on the app, and Shopify removed its support for online stores selling merchandise for the Donald Trump campaign and business organization.

Ryan was charged on Jan. 15 with entering the Capitol building without legal authority and with disorderly conduct on the Capitol grounds. Ryan allegedly livestreamed video as she entered the Capitol, according to a statement by an FBI agent. In a now-removed tweet, she also allegedly posted a photo of herself in front of a pane of broken window glass at the Capitol building, flashing the peace sign. In the caption, she said she „stormed the Capitol“ and described it as the best day of her life.

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Missing your $1,400 stimulus check? Here’s what you should do

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Waiting for that stimulus money can be frustrating

Sarah Tew/CNET

The IRS has by now sent 165 million checks as part of the third round of stimulus payments since March. But if for whatever reason you’ve not received your check from the IRS, we can help you track it down.

There could be several issues with your payment, such as with direct deposit details or a delay in mail delivery. Maybe you received a letter from the IRS saying that your payment was sent but your check never arrived. You could also be missing money from a previous check. If you receive SSI, SSDI or veterans benefits, there are lots of questions to resolve as well. 

When trying to find what’s happening with your payment, note that the IRS doesn’t want you to call. We’ll explain the different approaches you can take instead, including filing for a recovery rebate credit on your 2020 tax return, if you filed a tax extension, or requesting a payment trace. We can also share information on a potential fourth stimulus check, student debt forgiveness and why your state might owe you money from unclaimed property. Plus, here’s how you can get more money in the child tax credit if you have kids or a baby born in 2021 and how to calculate your total. This story has been updated.

Start tracking your payment status with the free IRS Get My Payment tool 

For the third stimulus check: It’s worth visiting the IRS‘ online portal designed to track the status of your 2021 payment. Generally, it should tell you when your check will be processed and how you’ll receive it (for example, as a paper check in the mail). If the Get My Payment tool doesn’t give you information you can understand or says your check is on the way and you haven’t received it, you may need to eventually request a payment trace or file for a Recovery Rebate Credit

For the first or second payment: If you can’t find the letter sent by the IRS, you’ll need to create an online profile with the IRS to see your status. For any problems, you may need to issue a payment trace or file for a Recovery Rebate Credit, even if you don’t normally submit a tax return. Be aware that May 17 was the last day to file your taxes without an extension. Here’s more information about finding the amount of your first and second payments.