Montana AG Investigates GoFundMe After Convoy Crackdown
The Freedom Convoys in Canada have had a lot of support here in Montana. On day one of the Freedom Convoy in Coutts, Alberta, Montanans showed up in support on the Sweet Grass, Montana side of the border.
Montanans also donated financial resources to the Freedom Convoy through a fundraising website known as GoFundMe. How GoFundMe works is they allow you to post info about your cause, send out a link so your supporters can donate, and then GoFundMe keeps a share for themselves and to cover costs.
Despite the violent riots and attacks on law enforcement associated with the BLM organization, GoFundMe allowed BLM donations to continue pouring in. Remarkably, GoFundMe blocked the donations for the Freedom Convoy of truckers and farmers in Canada. Not only would they halt donations, they confiscated the near $9 million already donated and said people needed to request a refund. If not, GoFundMe would donate the money to a cause of their choosing.
An outcry erupted across the country, with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) speaking out against GoFundMe's efforts early on.
Montana's Attorney General Austin Knudsen (R-MT) has also sprung into action. He sent this letter to GoFundMe
Here's one of the questions AG Knudsen posed to GoFundMe:
Explain whether GoFundMe considered cancelling fundraisers for protests in the summer of 2020, such as the Portland protest bail fund or the Seattle city center protests, including whether GoFundMe had discussions with law enforcement regarding whether those protests included violations of law or support of violence or harassment, and how GoFundMe reached the decision to allow these fundraisers to remain on its website.
According to a press release from the attorney general's office, Knudsen "has opened an investigation into potential violations of Montana’s Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Act in connection with GoFundMe’s redirection of funds from the Candian Freedom Convoy earlier this month."
AG Knudsen: Montanans who give to charitable causes should feel confident that their money will go to help the people they intended. GoFundMe's actions undermine that confidence and should be of concern to those who use their platform. They may have also violated Montana law. My office is looking into this matter further and we will continue to act to protect Montanans from being taken advantage of.
The Daily Wire had the exclusive when the news first broke last week. They added:
Several chief legal officials in red states have signaled intent to probe GoFundMe. This includes Florida’s Ashley Moody, Louisiana’s Jeff Landry, West Virginia’s Patrick Morrisey, Ken Paxton of Texas, and others. Last week, Republican Texas Sen. Ted Cruz demanded the Federal Trade Commission investigate the platform.
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