Utah Republican Sen. Mitt Romney will fundraise for endangered Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney at a Virginia event in March where attendees are required to be fully vaccinated.
The fundraiser, scheduled for March 14, will be held at the home of well-connected Virginia Republicans Bobbie and Bill Kilberg who opposed then-candidate and businessman Donald Trump in 2016, according to an invitation reviewed by The Federalist.
“All attendees must be fully vaccinated against COVID,” the event invite reads for a beneficiary who voted in December to expand the federal government’s surveillance tracking citizens’ vaccination status.
The Kilbergs will host Romney as their featured guest at the event drawing a lineup of prominent Trump critics including former Virginia Republican Rep. Barbara Comstock and former Vice President Dick Cheney.
Dwight Schar, the billionaire founder of a homebuilding company and former finance chair for the RNC, is also listed as a name sponsor. Schar endorsed former Democrat Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe in the state’s gubernatorial race last year, and has a history of financing anti-Trump candidates.
According to financial filings with the Federal Election Commission (FEC), Schar donated $25,000 to former Ohio Republican Gov. John Kasich’s super PAC in 2019 as the failed presidential candidate mulled a primary challenge to the White House incumbent. In August, FEC records show Schar gave the maximum individual contribution of $2,900 to Cheney’s re-election committee.
Romney’s deployment to raise money for Cheney’s competitive re-election bid comes after the sole Republican in the upper chamber that voted for Trump’s conviction in both impeachments defended Wyoming’s at-large congresswoman as she was kicked from House leadership.
“Liz Cheney refuses to lie,” Romney wrote just days before the House Republican conference overwhelmingly stripped her of chairmanship. Months prior, Cheney was a primary culprit in the spread of fake news that Trump was complicit with Russian bounties placed on American troops in Afghanistan.
While Romney’s attendance comes as little surprise, another name does. The event invite includes Scooter Libby, who was former chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney. In the spring of 2018, Libby was pardoned by President Trump more than a decade after Libby was found guilty on four of five felony counts related to obstruction of justice, perjury, and making false statements to investigators. President George W. Bush commuted Libby’s sentence to avoid prison time but he was denied a full pardon until Trump came into office.
Cheney’s fundraising with lucrative donors in Virginia comes ahead of the congresswoman’s most challenging race yet, against Trump-endorsed Wyoming attorney Harriet Hageman. In 2020, Trump carried Wyoming by 43 points, a wider margin than any other state in the nation.
Cheney’s vehement feud with the former president, however, has antagonized Republican voters at home earning Wyoming’s sole member of the lower chamber a censure from constituents. In November, the state party voted to no longer recognize Cheney as Republican.
In three surveys conducted since the last election’s aftermath, Cheney failed to garner more than 25 percent support among likely primary voters. The at-large congresswoman’s support is far short of the 40 percent vote share she captured in 2016 to secure her first nomination. In a straw poll of House candidates conducted by the GOP state central committee Saturday and reported by the Casper Star-Tribune, Hageman defeated Cheney 59 to six.
Despite the headwinds, the daughter of a former vice president has still been able to raise colossal funds for the race with a nearly $4 million-dollar war chest raised in part by help from blue-dollar donors eager to spend money on NeverTrump acolytes. According to a Federalist analysis of campaign finance reports in December, Cheney has already raked in upwards of $55,000 from the same donors who bankrolled the Lincoln Project. At Romney’s event in Virginia, attendance costs $1,000 per individual, with VIP reception tickets priced at $10,800 per couple.
Meanwhile, FEC filings show Hageman running with some $300,000 on hand.