The national Republican Party has accepted nearly $400,000 in donations from disgraced ex-casino mogul Steve Wynn — a move that comes just over a year after he was accused of sexually harassing or assaulting employees over a decade-long period.
Wynn gave $248,500 to the Republican National Committee and $150,000 to the National Republican Senatorial Committee in April, according to two people familiar with the contributions. The donations are set to be disclosed publicly later this month.
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Wynn, a longtime Republican Party donor whose net worth has been pegged at nearly $3 billion, stepped down as chairman of Wynn Resorts in January 2018 following accusations that he engaged in an extensive pattern of sexual misconduct toward female employees at his Las Vegas casino. Wynn, 77, also resigned his post as RNC finance chairman.
Wynn has consistently denied the allegations, saying that “the idea that I ever assaulted any woman is preposterous.” He has accused his ex-wife, Elaine, of instigating the claims.
Yet the fallout has been substantial. In February, Wynn Resorts was fined $20 million by the Nevada Gaming Commission for ignoring employee complaints about Wynn’s behavior. Last month, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission released a report detailing how company executives worked to conceal internal complaints made about Wynn, including one from an employee who told a supervisor that the mogul raped her in a massage room.
RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel defended the organization’s decision to accept the funds, arguing that none of the investigations into Wynn established that the billionaire had broken the law.
“While we must take any allegations like these seriously, everyone is entitled to the presumption of innocence and due process. Over the last year and a half, multiple investigations into the allegations against Steve Wynn have concluded. Throughout this entire process, Steve has repeatedly and unequivocally denied wrongdoing, and he has not been charged with or found guilty of any crimes,” McDaniel said in a statement. “At this point, there is no reason for refusing his support.”
An NRSC spokesman declined to comment. An attorney for Wynn did not respond to a request for comment.
The RNC has steadfastly refused calls to return nearly $375,000 in contributions that Wynn and his wife, Andrea Hissom, gave to the committee in 2017.
After the Wall Street Journal first reported the allegations against Wynn in January 2018, McDaniel told Fox News that the casino executive “should be allowed due process, and if he is found of any wrongdoing, we will absolutely return 100 percent of that money. But we’re going to let due process take place.”
Last month, Wynn greeted President Donald Trump on the tarmac when the president flew to Las Vegas for a rally.