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Republican Attorneys General Across U.S. Announce Plans To Probe GoFundMe For Pulling Freedom Convoy

   DailyWire.com
Ashley Moody, Florida attorney general, speaks during a news conference outside the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Monday, Sept. 9, 2019. A group of 50 attorneys general opened a broad investigation into whether advertising practices of Alphabet Inc.'s Google violate antitrust laws.
Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Several Republican Attorney Generals from across the U.S. have already publicly announced that their offices will be looking into whether GoFundMe violated any state laws in response to the fundraising website canceling a fundraiser for Canadian truckers and initially stating that they would send the funds to other charities.

GoFundMe canceled the Freedom Convoy fundraiser after it had raised approximately C$10 million for the truckers and already distributed C$1 million of the funds.

GoFundMe initially said in-part:

Organizers provided a clear distribution plan for the initial $1M that was released earlier this week and confirmed funds would be used only for participants who traveled to Ottawa to participate in a peaceful protest. Given how this situation has evolved, no further funds will be directly distributed to the Freedom Convoy organizers — we will work with organizers to send all remaining funds to credible and established charities verified by GoFundMe.

In a statement, GoFundMe later reversed course, citing “donor feedback”:

To simplify the process for our users, we will be refunding all donations to the Freedom Convoy 2022 fundraiser. This refund will happen automatically—you do not need to submit a request. Donors can expect to see refunds within 7-10 business days.

The update we issued earlier enabled all donors to get a refund and outlined a plan to distribute remaining funds to verified charities selected by the Freedom Convoy organizers. However, due to donor feedback, we are simplifying the process and automatically refunding donations.

The left-wing company’s actions immediately grabbed the attention of multiple Republican Attorneys General who issued public statements on Friday night and early on Saturday about the matter.

“🚨It’s totally unacceptable for @gofundme to siphon over $9M in donations sent to support #TruckersForFreedom2020 & funnel it to causes it supports,” Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt said. “I will be investigating these deceptive practices. Donors should be given a refund.#TruckersConvoy2022 #TruckersForFreedom.”

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost said that GoFundMe’s decision to reverse course and provide automatic refunds to donors was “not the end of the story.”

“I still want to hear from you if you donated,” Yost said to Ohio residents. “This needs to not happen again! It is deeply troubling to me that a professional fundraiser like #GoFundMe thought they had a right to take donations they are holding in trust and simply “redirect” them. We are going to get to the bottom of this.”

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey urged residents in his state to contact his office to let him know if they had “been victimized by a deceptive act or practice” by GoFundMe.

“#GoFundMe now won’t honor #FreedomConvoy donations and will instead redirect to other charities? In WV, organizations must not deceive donors and engage in deceptive advertising practices. If you’ve been victimized by a deceptive act or practice, let us know!” Morrisey wrote. “According to their website, #GoFundMe is not automatically refunding the donations. Individuals interested in a refund can submit the form below if they do so by Feb 19, 2022. This will avoid the ‘redirecting’ of the donation.”

Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry responded: “I share the concerns of @WestVirginiaAG . My office will be looking into whether or not #GoFundMe violated our state law. If you are a Louisiana donor to the #FreedomConvoy, please contact my #ConsumerProtection Section! #lagov”

Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody responded to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ announcement that the state would investigate GoFundMe.

“I’m sick and tired of corporations imposing their political will on unsuspecting consumers,” she said. “As always, I will work with @GovRonDeSantis to ensure Floridians are protected.”