Federal prosecutors charged Matt Borges, founder of the anti-Trump Right Side super PAC, with conspiracy to commit racketeering on Tuesday.
Borges, a former Ohio Republican Party chairman who is now a lobbyist, is one of five people who have been charged in connection with a nuclear bailout bill that was quickly moved through the Ohio state legislature last year, Cleveland reported.
The others are Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder, lobbyist Neil Clark, FirstEnergy Solutions lobbyist Juan Cespedes and Householder aide Jeff Longstreth.
The complaint said that “Borges was a key middleman and was at the center of the effort to thwart the referendum” that would allow residents to vote on the bailout bill.
Borges co-founded the Right Side super PAC with fellow Republican Anthony Scaramucci. The organization is “focused on defeating President Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential election,” according to Ballotpedia.
“Republicans who want to do the right thing will need to be communicated with on a personal level as to why Joe Biden is the man who can mend America’s soul. In the minds of Republican voters, we must make him more than simply the ‘lesser of two evils,'” the super PAC says of its mission.
“The time has come to be on the right side of history.”
“I get that there’s folks who are mad at me now, but when they look back at all this, they’ll just be mad at themselves,” Borges said.
“The party, and the people in it, are too good to have their standard-bearer be Donald Trump, who is so bad.”
As part of the FirstEnergy operation, Borges allegedly sought out a person working on the referendum campaign and offered to pay off the person’s debts in return for inside information.
“I promise this will be worth your while,” he allegedly told the person, who was working as an informant for the FBI.
The informant was paid $15,000, and Borges allegedly threatened to “blow up” the person’s home if word of the payment was leaked.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office has described the case as a “public corruption racketeering conspiracy involving $60 million.”
Each defendant could face up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
“[It] is likely the largest bribery, money-laundering scheme ever perpetrated against the people in the state of Ohio,” David DeVillers, U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, said during a Tuesday news conference.
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