The balance of power in Washington is still up for grabs after a contentious midterm election, but one group can celebrate whichever party comes out on top: the anti-Trump political action committees whose leaders pocketed the money they ostensibly raised to attack the former President.

These groups raised millions from progressive donors, promising their funds would help elect Democrats across the country. The Democratic Coalition, which Sen.-elect John Fetterman’s (D., Pa.) campaign called a “fraudulent PAC,” spent just $2,840 of the $375,000 it raised on campaign ads, but doled out $65,000 to executive director Scott Dworkin’s consulting firm. Dworkin was one of many Democratic crooks who gathered at a social media summit at the White House on Oct. 21.

This was the last election cycle where anti-Trump PACs profited without having any real impact. The Lincoln Project, whose co-founder once touted the organization as a way for its leaders to achieve “generational wealth,” raised $90 million during the 2020 election cycle, more than half of which went to its founders’ consulting firms, according to Fox Business. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., NY) in 2020 fired the group as a “scam”. Wary of his reputation, the campaign of Ohio Democratic Senate candidate Tim Ryan pleaded with the Lincoln Project to stay out of the race in May.

Dworkin, whose Democratic Coalition distributed $128,000 to its top staff and consultants, was in good company at the October White House summit. Also in attendance was the editor of Occupy Democrats, whose campaign fund raised $1.3 million during the midterm cycle and donated $250,000 to a consulting firm owned by co-founder Omar Rivero, while spending just $120,590 on political ads, according to Federal Election Commission records.

In a since-deleted tweet, Rivero defended the quarter-million-dollar payout, saying “If you understand the time and effort it takes to create viral memes – and the impact they have – you may respect -be more our job.”

Rivero said Newsweek in September that there was nothing wrong with the Occupy Democrats election fund paying employees for their work. He boasted that his group delivered “over 12.3 million meme impressions, over 1.2 million engagements and over 100,000 shares” with its $50,000 investment in the failed effort to 2021 to recall California Governor Gavin Newsom (D.).

The founders of anti-Trump group MeidasTouch have also rubbed shoulders at the White House social media summit. Founded by three brothers in March 2020, the super progressive PAC claims to have racked up more than a billion views for the viral videos it creates for “fractions of pennies on the dollar”.

The super PAC raised $2.4 million in the 2022 round, of which $1.1 million went to a consulting firm called Prestige WW which, according to rolling stone, shares an “unusual financial relationship” with MeidasTouch co-founder Brett Meiselas. MeidasTouch spent just $240,000 on political ads midterm, according to FEC records.

Prestige WW, named after the 2008 comedy Will Ferrell Half brothers, pays consultancy fees to Meiselas for his services as treasurer of the super PAC. Adav Noti, a former attorney for the Federal Election Commission, said rolling stone in April 2021 that MeidasTouch’s lack of transparency regarding its arrangement with the consulting firm likely violated campaign finance laws.

“It’s not OK,” said Noti, who is now the legal director of the Campaign Legal Center watchdog group. “If the PAC is paying the company just as a boilerplate for the money to get to their treasurer or some fundraising company or whatever, what they have to disclose are the final payments to those payees. “

The Democratic Coalition, Occupy Democrats and MeidasTouch did not return requests for comment.