The heiress who financed the assault on Congress from her villa in Tuscany

from Andrea Marinelli

Ms. Julie Fancelli, descendant of the 38th richest family in America and married to an Italian, was the main financier of the raid on Capitol Hill on January 6: she donated $ 650,000 a few days before the event

The assault on the United States Congress was financed with generous contributions arrived from a villa in the Tuscan countryside. The Washington Post, explaining that eight days before Trump supporters raid Capitol Hill, an American heiress who divides her time between Florida and Tuscany sent $ 650,000 to three organizations that planned the event: his money would have covered almost all the costs of the demonstration organized at Ellipse, which ended dramatically with the assault on the temple of American democracy and four deaths.

Daughter of the founder of the Publix supermarket chain – nearly 1,300 stores in the Southeastern United States, between Virginia and Florida -, Julie Fancelli, 72, has donated millions to charity through the family foundation, always keeping out of the spotlight. Following the money, however, the House commission investigating the January 6 assault uncovered her wire transfers, highlighting that the heiress it would have been the main financier of the event. On January 6 he also had a reserved room at the Willard hotel, but he preferred not to leave for Washington due to the pandemic.

“She is a rich woman who has always led a quiet life, mostly in Florence, where it produces oil and wine», He told al Post Mel Sembler, fundraiser organizer for Republicans in Florida and former ambassador to Italy during the presidency of George W. Bush, who he went to visit her in Tuscany, where she has lived since she married Mauro Fancelli in 1972. “She’s a kind lady from a good family – the 39th richest in America, according to Forbes, with assets of $ 8.8 billion – writing checks for things he thinks are important. I just wonder if she realized she was financing the January 6th assault. ‘

According to the findings of the commission, on December 29, 2020 the woman would have donated $ 300,000 to Women for America First, a non-profit that organized the event, e 150,000 to another non-profit linked to the Association of Republican Attorneys General, which in turn financed the «robocall», the automated calls with which the demonstration was called to «stop the theft» electoral. Others $ 200,000 went to State Tea Party Express and were used for radio advertising and on social networks. In those same days, Fancelli spoke at least once on the phone with Alex Jones.

Right-wing radio host, white supremacist and well-known dispenser of fake news (such as Pizzagate), convicted of defamation in the lawsuit filed against him by the parents of the little victims of Sandy Hook (he claimed it was a staging with paid actors), Alex Jones he was one of the promoters of the election theft theory through his sites and his show. According to Fancelli’s family members, the huge contribution of the woman would derive precisely from her passion for the “great conspirator” Jones, whose links he turned to family members and with whom he came into direct contact to support the cause.

“I’m not attracted to that guy, but apparently she is, like a lot of other people, and all at the expense of the country,” he explained to the Washington Post Fancelli’s brother-in-law, Barney Barnett, a former Pulix executive who believes himself to be a Conservative Republican. “Julie is one of the best people I know, and I’m sorry she got involved with this guy. ‘ His sister, Nancy Jenkins, also tells of avoid politics when talking to her, preferring to limit himself to less divisive topics such as “the grandchildren and the time he will spend in Florida during the Christmas holidays.” That guy, he says of Jones, “is an agitator and I don’t listen to him.”

Fancelli never replied to phone calls and emails from Washington Post And only issued one statement months ago: “I am proudly conservative and I have doubts about the integrity of the elections, but I would never support any violence, nor the tragic and horrible events of January 6”. A few weeks after the assault, in fact, in a conversation with a leader of the Republican party – which he has financed for twenty years – he admitted that he did not know that the demonstration would have violent implications. Despite this, she added, she remained convinced that the elections had been stolen and would continue to “fight for Trump”.

Despite having donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to Republican candidates in the past, before Trump, Fancelli has always remained under the radar: in 2019 and 2020 he donated one million to the former president instead. “We had never heard of it before,” said an anonymous party member al Post, explaining that in 2017 the heir to meet with party president Ronna McDaniel complaining that the GOP had not done enough to help Trump. “He’s a right-wing person, smarter than many financiers, but he has an attraction for Alex Jones and that kind of conspiracy theories.”

Founded in 1930 and never listed on the stock exchange, Publix – who also supports conservative causes: made donations to Republican Governor Ron DeSantis, Donald Trump’s would-be successor to the presidency, and to candidates close to the arms lobby, the NRA – he publicly distanced himself from Julie Fancelli. “We can’t control what individual shareholders do,” the company, which is still family owned, said last week. “We are very upset by Mrs. Fancelli’s involvement in the events that led to the tragic attack of January 6”.