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Tucker Carlson shuts down group ‘defrauding’ his supporters by teasing 2024 run

 May 24, 2023

In the aftermath of Fox News cutting ties with former host Tucker Carlson, there were rumors that Carlson might run for president and a small political action committee was formed to try to "Draft Tucker" into the 2024 race.

That PAC has now reportedly shut down its nascent operations after receiving a cease-and-desist letter from an attorney representing Carlson that threatened possible further legal action for "defrauding" his supporters, the Daily Wire reported.

The attorney representing Carlson is Harmeet Dhillon, a conservative activist who made an unsuccessful bid to replace Ronna McDaniel as chair of the Republican National Committee in the wake of the GOP's disappointing performance in the 2022 midterm elections.

Cease-and-Desist Letter Sent

The Daily Beast reported that it obtained a copy of the three-page cease-and-desist letter to the Draft Tucker PAC from Dhillon that stated, "It has come to Mr. Carlson’s attention that you are soliciting contributions and donor contact information from the public by representing that the funds will be used to draft Mr. Tucker to run for President in 2024."

"Mr. Carlson will not run for President in 2024 under any circumstances, and therefore your misrepresentations are damaging to Mr. Carlson and defrauding his supporters," the attorney continued.

Dhillon wrote, "If you do not immediately cease and desist your efforts to solicit money to ‘draft’ Mr. Carlson, we will use every legal means at our disposal to vindicate his rights and protect his supporters from these misrepresentations."

With regard to the use of Carlson's name in the fundraising effort, the attorney said, "You are using Mr. Carlson’s name and image for the value associated with it, trading on his good name to raise money for an organization Mr. Carlson does not support and for a goal he expressly and unreservedly stated he will never pursue."

"You appear to be using Mr. Carlson’s name, image, and likeness for your own benefit, including by raising money using Mr. Carlson’s name that you are using to pay yourselves and collecting a valuable list of donor’s contact information that you can then sell or lease for more profit," she asserted.

Dhillon concluded by advising the PAC to preserve all documents and communications on the possibility that "Mr. Carlson may be forced to pursue litigation."

PAC Asks Newsmax to Take Down Ad

According to The Washington Times, the Draft Tucker PAC had recently begun to air an ad on the conservative Newsmax channel that heralded Carlson for his willingness to call out "woke nonsense" and said that "no one is more articulate and pins down leftists in both parties."

The group acknowledged receipt of the cease-and-desist letter and said through a spokesperson that it would "honor that request" and ask Newsmax to stop running its ad.

As for the fundraising, the PAC said that it had only raised $212 online in addition to the $35,000 in seed money it received from the PAC's chairman, Chris Ekstrom.

"We are Going to Honor that Request"

The Hill reported that Charlie Kolean, a GOP consultant and spokesman for the PAC, said in a statement, "Tucker’s attorney has contacted us to let us know that Tucker is not a candidate for president nor has any intentions of running and asked us to cease all activities on his behalf. We are going to honor that request."

"We hoped that a Tucker candidacy would open the Overton Window to the Right," Kolean had told the outlet in a prior statement about the PAC's efforts. "We wish Tucker the best & profoundly hope he will not be silenced in this crucial presidential cycle. We consider Tucker Carlson to be the heir of Fearless Rush Limbaugh who never backed down from defending his people."

As for PAC chair Ekstrom, who said the $212 raised would be refunded or contributed to a charity of Carlson's choice, he issued a statement of his own to The Hill that sharply criticized Dhillon over her failed effort to unseat McDaniel as RNC chair.

Grateful to Avoid Litigation

Yet, in a response statement to The Hill, Dhillon appeared to ignore the barbs from Ekstrom and instead simply expressed gratitude that further legal action against the PAC could likely be avoided.

"On behalf of Tucker Carlson, we are pleased that this unauthorized use of his name and likeness to raise funds and gather data from his supporters, has been brought to an end without the need for litigation," the attorney told the outlet. "Mr. Carlson looks forward to sharing his new projects with the public in the near future."