The British Guardian Observer tonight says it has located a document it believes provides a link between two data analytic firms and right wing billionaire financier Robert Mercer. Mercer and his daughter have been major backers of Donald Trump. The story itself is complex, but boils down to the following:
- There were actually two major organizations in Britain pushing for British exit from the European Union — Vote Leave and Leave.EU. By all reports the two groups were supposedly at great odds with each other.
On the surface, the two main campaigns, Leave.EU and Vote Leave, hated one other. Their leading lights, (Nigel) Farage and Boris Johnson, were sworn enemies for the duration of the referendum. The two campaigns bitterly refused even to share a platform.
But the Observer has seen a confidential document that provides clear evidence of a link between the two campaigns. More precisely, evidence of a close working relationship between the two data analytics firms employed by the campaigns – AggregateIQ, which Vote Leave hired, and Cambridge Analytica, retained by Leave.EU.
British electoral law is founded on the principle of a level playing field and controlling campaign spending is the key plank of that. The law states that different campaigns must not work together unless they declare their expenditure jointly. This controls spending limits so that no side can effectively “buy” an election.
But this signed legal document – a document that was never meant to be made public and was leaked by a concerned source – connects both Vote Leave and Leave.EU’s data firms directly to Robert Mercer, the American billionaire who bankrolled Donald Trump.