On Tuesday, the White House announced a slew of pardons and commutations for various white-collar criminals, including Paul Pogue, the founder of Pogue Construction, who pleaded guilty in 2010 for cheating the government out of over $473,000 in taxes and was sentenced to three years of probation.
Pogue made “significant charitable contributions,” according to the White House’s glowing praise of the ex-felon.
So did Pogue’s family — to the current occupant of the White House.
Federal Election Commission filings, first noted by the Daily Beast, show that Pogue’s son and daughter-in-law, Ben and Ashleigh Pogue, made four donations totaling a jaw-dropping $210,404.40 to the Trump Victory Committee, a joint fundraising committee between Trump’s 2020 campaign and the Republican National Committee, as recently as last fall.
Ben Pogue, who serves as the CEO of his father’s company, contributed $35,000 to the committee on August 12 last year, then he and Ashleigh each gave $50,000 several days later on August 15. Ben donated again on September 18 to the tune of $75,404.40.
Apparently feeling generous around that time, the couple also shelled out over $150,000 to the RNC’s separate fundraising committee, plus $11,200 to Donald J. Trump For President, Inc. late last year, according to the FEC’s records.
On August 12, Ben Pogue donated a sum total of $5,600 to Donald J. Trump For President, Inc. for Trump’s primary and general election campaigns. Pogue then gave the RNC $43,900 on August 15, $75,404.40 on September 18, then $28,137.60 on October 15.
Ashleigh Pogue made the same donation as her husband — $5,600 to Donald J. Trump For President, Inc. for Trump’s primary and general election campaigns — and one donation of $8,900 to the RNC, all on August 15.
The massive cash flows raise eyebrows even further when compared to the couple’s relatively modest donor history pre-2019. As the Daily Beast notes, the two weren’t quite as generous in years past.
Ben Pogue had donated sparingly before 2019, and his largest contribution was a mere $5,000 to former House Speaker Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) 2018 congressional campaign. His wife had made only one donation: $2,700 to former Sen. Rick Santorum’s (R-PA) ill-fated 2016 presidential campaign.
Neither the White House nor the Trump campaign responded to requests for comment.