Trump Campaign’s New Chief Of Staff Arrested On Campaign Finance Charges In 2016
The woman recently named as the Trump campaign’s chief of staff was arrested on campaign finance charges in Oklahoma in 2016 “after police seized her then-boyfriend's phone in a cocaine bust,” according to Business Insider.
Stephanie Alexander, who was promoted to the position on Tuesday, previously served as the Trump campaign’s Midwest political director.
Alexander was active in Oklahoma politics prior to joining the Trump campaign.
Authorities in the state filed charges in 2016 alleging “that she participated in a conspiracy to illegally coordinate dark money in a 2014 race for state superintendent of public instruction.”
Insider reported that Alexander — then named Stephanie Milligan — pleaded not guilty and the charges were later dropped in 2017 with no explanation.
A judge granted Alexander’s request last month “to both expunge and seal the court records on the case.”
The 2014 state superintendent race pitted two Republicans against each other in the primary: challenger Joy Hoffmeister and incumbent Janet Barresi.
Alexander and her boyfriend at the time, political consultant Chad Alexander — the pair have since married — both worked to establish a purportedly independent advocacy organization called Oklahomans for Public School Excellence that raised money from anonymous donors and ran a $300,000 ad barrage attacking Barresi during the campaign.
However, Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater claimed that “OPSE was a front organization designed to conceal ‘a conspiracy to commit campaign contribution violations and illegal coordination’ between Hoffmeister and dark-money donors.”
Insider noted that it is against the law in Oklahoma “for donors to give more than $5,000 to a campaign, and independent groups that raise larger amounts are barred from coordinating with campaigns.”
In May 2014, “Chad Alexander, who previously served as chairman of the Oklahoma Republican Party, was arrested on a cocaine possession charge while driving his Mercedes in Oklahoma City.”
After seizing his cell phones and computer, police “found texts and emails showing communications between Alexander, Hofmeister, and others allegedly plotting a dark money strategy to run ads against Barresi.”
Insider reported that at the time of her arrest, Stephanie Alexander was a battleground campaign official for Trump’s 2016 campaign.
She faced up to 10 years in prison, but Insider reported that “David Prater, the district attorney, abruptly withdrew all charges in the case in August 2017.”