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Republican presidential candidate and former U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at Winthrop Coliseum ahead of the South Carolina Republican presidential primary, in Rock Hill, South Carolina, U.S., February 23, 2024. 

Shannon Stapleton | Reuters

Several groups founded by allies of former President Donald Trump to combat alleged “voter fraud” now have little money or results to show for their efforts.

Trump’s false claims that he lost the 2020 election to President Joe Biden only as the result of widespread ballot fraud and other irregularities were the impetus for the creation of those nonprofit groups and political action committees.

But a glaring problem for those groups has been the fact that federal and state officials have repeatedly debunked Trump’s claims of fraud.

Another problem that doomed some of the groups was their failure to secure any fundraising help from Trump, the de facto leader of the Republican Party, who remains the chief promoter of false claims of widespread voter fraud in the United States.

New tax and campaign finance records reviewed by CNBC reveal that pursuing “election integrity” has not paid off for several groups in Trump’s orbit.

And in some cases, the groups’ stated missions on their public tax returns were opaque when they launched.

Other records raise questions as to what funds were used for at several entities.

Parscale’s election fraud network collapses

One notable disappearance from the field of election integrity efforts has been American Greatness, a network of pro-Trump groups founded by former Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale.

Parscale announced in 2021 that he was launching a nonprofit, a PAC and a side group called the “Election Integrity Alliance” under the American Greatness umbrella.

He told the Axios news site at the time that American Greatness would “provide transparent data research and visualization, which will offer an accurate state-by-state aggregation of all needed, ongoing, and completed efforts towards voting integrity.”

Trump 2020 campaign manager Brad Parscale addresses the crowd before U.S. President Donald Trump rallies with supporters in Manchester, New Hampshire, U.S. August 15, 2019.

Jonathan Ernst | Reuters

The mission of the Election Integrity Alliance, likewise, was ending election fraud.

Today, American Greatness has largely collapsed.

It is also unclear if it ever completed any of its stated goals.

Parscale, who is no longer leading the organization, and the two other prior board members, did not return requests for comment.

But a person familiar with the group, who was granted anonymity to discuss private conversations, said it did not ever provide transparent data research and visualization to help with voting-related matters, despite Parscale’s promise of that.

The nonprofit headed into 2023 with only about $195,000 on hand. A year earlier, it raised $550,000 and spent all but around $50,000 of that, tax records show.

American Greatness last year changed its name to the Jefferson Rising Fund, and was taken over by former Trump campaign aide Katrina Pierson.

Pierson, who is now running for the Texas state House, told CNBC that she since has “left the organization shortly after formation” and is “unaware of who is on the board or their current activities.”

Republican political consultant Katrina Pierson arrives at Trump Tower, December 14, 2016 in New York City. This is the first major meeting between President-elect Trump and technology industry leaders. 

Drew Angerer | Getty Images

Recent disclosure reports show that the American Greatness nonprofit since changing its name to the Jefferson Rising Fund brought on a lobbyist to take on Biden’s policies affecting the oil and gas industry.

The affiliated PAC hasn’t fared much better than its sister nonprofit.

The PAC entered 2024 with about $123,000 on hand. And it raised just $176 for all of 2023, records show.

The PAC spent much of the $550,000 it received from oil and gas magnate Tim Dunn during the 2022 election cycle on a variety of consultants, according to the records.

Dunn and the Jefferson Rising Fund did not return a request for comment.

No money was spent on supporting pro-Trump candidates, despite then-PAC Chairman Jim Renacci, a former Ohio congressman, saying two years ago that was part of the group’s plans, records show.

But payments by the PAC to consultants last year included $80,000 toward Pierson’s firm PCG and another $80,000 payment to K.F.6 Partners, an Israel-based firm.

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The power of Trump’s favor

Unlike the American Greatness PAC and the nonprofit, the Election Integrity Alliance was launched with a board made up of well-known figures in Trump’s orbit. Several of those people played key roles in Trump’s failed effort to overturn the 2020 election.

Former Trump attorney Jenna Ellis, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, and former New York Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik were listed on the website as members of the alliance’s national board in 2021.

“The Election Integrity Alliance will unite groups and efforts across the nation focused on combating election fraud,” the group’s now-defunct website trumpeted in 2021.

“Election Integrity Alliance will be a centralized hub that gives tools to enact meaningful change for the American people.”

The website also had links to a “scorecard” page, where the group said it would “evaluate the integrity of elections in key states.”

But to carry out its grand plans, the Election Integrity Alliance aimed to secure an elusive prize: Trump’s personal endorsement.

In summer 2021, several board members traveled to New York to meet with Trump at his office in Trump Tower. They asked the former president to designate their group the official hub for election integrity work by Trump allies, according to a source who was granted anonymity to discuss private conversations.

But Trump never publicly designated the Election Integrity Alliance as the standard bearer for the MAGA universe’s election integrity efforts.

Instead, a few months after the Trump Tower meeting, the former president took the stage at his private Florida club, Mar-a-Lago, in November 2021 and cheered on a different Trump-allied nonprofit, the America First Policy Institute.

This group was led by other longtime Trump insiders, including former Small Business Administration Administrator Linda McMahon, former White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow, and former West Wing aide Brooke Rollins.

Trump’s blessing for AFPI that November evening in Palm Beach elevated it above a crowd of other groups founded by Trump alums, including American Greatness, and launched it on a fundraising juggernaut.

The year after Trump endorsed it, AFPI raised $22 million, almost $9 million more than it had raised the previous year, according to IRS records reviewed by CNBC.

AFPI also launched an election integrity effort, the Center for Election Integrity, and staffed it with former Trump White House press aide Hogan Gidley and conservative author Ken Blackwell.

It even launched its own color-coded election integrity scorecard map, which looks strikingly similar to the one that the Election Integrity Alliance had created for its now-deleted website.

A source close to the Election Integrity Alliance said that during its short lifetime, the group had helped to organize calls with other Trump-allied groups working on election issues with a conservative tilt, including AFPI and the Heritage Foundation.

Cleta Mitchell group depletes cash

Another election integrity group is run by Trump-allied conservative attorney Cleta Mitchell, who had worked with Trump to try to overturn the 2020 election results when she took part in a phone call featuring the then-president and Georgia’s secretary of state, Brad Raffensperger.

She later founded the Election Integrity Network, which has been working to influence future elections.

Last April, Mitchell spoke at a Republican donor conference, where she said that conservatives needed to work together to limit voting on college campuses, same-day voter registration and automatic mailing of ballots to registered voters, according to a PowerPoint presentation obtained by The Washington Post.

But the group’s tax records, provided to CNBC by Dave Armiak, a research director at the Center for Media and Democracy, show that Mitchell’s group entered 2023 with very little money left that could be used for those goals.

The Election Integrity Network raised just over $753,000 and spent about $746,000 in 2022, which left the organization with up to $24,298 in assets entering 2023.

Almost 70% of their funding in 2022 came from the Conservative Partnership Institute, a nonprofit group that’s led in part by former Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows, according to CPI’s tax records from that year.

Entering 2023, Mitchell’s group had only $6,200 in net assets that could be used without restrictions.

Mitchell declined to comment.

Another organization founded by Russell Vought, Trump’s former director of the Office of Management and Budget, had a dedicated “election integrity” section on its website.

But Vought’s group has not posted anything related to elections since September 2022.

Correction: Linda McMahon was administrator of the Small Business Administration. An earlier version misstated her title.

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