Wednesday, Apr 24, 2024

Before Herschel Walker announced his Georgia Senate bid, a law firm hired by GOP consultants compiled a 500-page dossier on him with potentially damaging information: report

Before Herschel Walker announced his Georgia Senate bid, a law firm hired by GOP consultants compiled a 500-page dossier on him with potentially damaging information: report

Walker believed that his status as a football icon and his ability to connect with people would cancel out any bad press or attack ads, per NBC News.
Before Herschel Walker even declared his Senate candidacy in August 2021, there were already major questions regarding the viability of a potential campaign.

As Walker mulled over his entry into the race, he spoke with leading GOP consultants Austin Chambers, Paul Bennecke and Nick Ayers, who proceeded to hire a law firm to delve into the would-be candidate's background, according to NBC News.

For most campaigns, such an effort is a typical exercise; it helps gauge the kind of opposition research that could be assembled in a political campaign.

But in the span of just two weeks, the firm had compiled a 500-page dossier on Walker, which detailed potential problems involving his businesses, along with questionable public statements and allegations of abuse, according to four sources who spoke with NBC News.

"We found 500 pages in two weeks on you and God only knows what else is out there," Chambers told Walker, per a source who overheard the two men speaking at a GOP donor's home in the posh Buckhead neighborhood of Atlanta.

The three consultants didn't stay on for Walker's campaign, but the former University of Georgia football standout threw his hat into the ring despite the information that had been uncovered, some of which was already in the public realm.

Shortly before Walker announced his campaign, The Associated Press published a damning article that detailed accusations by his ex-wife Cindy Grossman, who in their divorce proceedings spoke of his "physically abusive and threatening behavior."

But Walker and his current wife, Julie Blanchard Walker, weren't discouraged by the report.

Before the campaign announcement, the pair felt as though Walker's longtime status as a football icon in the Peach State and his ability to connect with people would cancel out any bad press or political attack ads that would surely be launched by the Democratic Party, according to individuals who told NBC News they had spoken with the couple in advance of the August 2021 launch date.

Once Walker was officially a candidate, he quickly coalesced support among Republican primary votes, which was turbocharged by his endorsement from former President Donald Trump.

But this year, his campaign was rocked by several scandals.

Two women alleged that Walker, who ran on an anti-abortion platform, had paid for their abortions. The Republican denied the allegations, but in public polling the week before the runoff, he was not seen as a trustworthy candidate by a majority of the electorate.

When it was revealed that Walker had additional children that he had not disclosed to the public, his campaign was also forced to respond to the developments, which put him off-message as he sought to rally GOP voters.

Last month, questions swirled around the campaign regarding a homestead tax exemption that Walker claimed in Texas in 2021 and this year, despite him running for a Senate seat in Georgia, per a CNN KFile report.

In the November general election, Warnock edged out Walker 49.4%-48.5% statewide, but the results triggered a runoff as neither candidate hit the requisite 50% threshold to win the election outright.

Last week, Warnock defeated Walker in the runoff 51.4%-48.6%.

The result made Walker the only statewide Republican candidate to lose their race in Georgia this year.

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