After a cease and desist letter and a consent order, the group is now registered and paid an administrative penalty.
A group founded by former President Donald Trump’s campaign lawyer was recently put on notice by the Mississippi Secretary of State (SOS) to cease solicitations of contributions in the Magnolia State. The matter has since been resolved.
A consent order obtained through a public records request filed by Y’all Politics shows that Sidney Powell’s Defending the Republic, Inc. (DTR) was issued a cease and desist letter by the Mississippi Secretary of State Charities Division on June 28, 2021, after falsely stating that the group was registered with the SOS. As noted, DTR had a billboard that read “the official registration and financial information of DTR may be obtained from the Mississippi Secretary of State’s office…”
Powell is best known for her vigorous defense of the former President following the 2020 election. She and other Trump attorneys sought to challenge multiple states’ election results which were ultimately unsuccessful.
A website for Powell’s DTR was also listed: www.defendingtherepublic.org. That website states the following:
“Defending the Republic exists to defend and protect the important rights secured to all Americans by our Constitution and the Bill of Rights. These founding documents were written to protect citizens from the government. It is an everyday battle to secure these blessings of liberty for ourselves and our posterity. Your donation supports our extremely vital mission.
“Contributions are not tax deductible for individuals. Regarding the deductibility of contributions to a corporation, please consult your tax advisor.”
The consent order (shown below) says Powell’s DTR has since filed their registration with the SOS and the order was signed by a Mississippi SOS staff attorney on December 2, 2021.
An administrative penalty of $2,500 was imposed by the SOS on DTR.
“After noticing a solicitation, the Mississippi Secretary of State’s Office checked the charity and found it was illegally soliciting in our state in violation of the Mississippi Charitable Solicitations Act. This resulted in the imposed fine against Defending the Republic (DTR) in the amount of $2,500. In an effort to resolve the matter, DTR paid an administrative penalty and entered into a consent order providing it would comply with all of the laws regarding regulation of charitable solicitations,” Secretary of State Michael Watson told Y’all Politics. “As always, I’m proud of my team for consistently and justly applying the law.”
The Mississippi SOS Charities online portal now shows Defending the Republic, Inc. in good standing through February 15, 2022, at which time DTR would be required to make further filings to remain compliant with Mississippi law.
Of note, DTR’s stated purpose on the Mississippi SOS Charities portal reads:
Defending the Republic, Inc.’s (DTR) seeks to educate the public on what it means to be a Republic and to take actions in courts across the country to protect elections integrity and the individual freedoms enshrined in our Constitution.
No financial information for DTR is listed on the SOS website.