Trump’s nominee for Education Secretary is facing accusations of lying during her confirmation hearing – after claiming her 13 years as VP of a charitable trust that funded anti-gay activism was a “clerical error”.
Betsy DeVos, the mega-rich daughter of billionaire Prince Corporation founder Edgar Prince and daughter-in-law of Amway billionaire Dick DeVos, has been nominated as Education Secretary despite having no experience in education.
In her confirmation hearing earlier this week, the prospective cabinet member denied having any authority within her family’s Prince Foundation, which gave more than $10 million sent Focus On the Family, a Christian group that advocates gay ‘cure’ therapy.
Pushed in the hearing, she had insisted a statement listing her as the foundation’s vice president was “a clerical error”.
When Senator Maggie Hassan asked her to clarify whether “the listing that you were vice president was incorrect”, Mrs DeVos replied: “That is correct.”
The Intercept has since claimed she “lied to the Senate”, revealing that Prince Foundation tax filings show she was a vice president of the foundation for 13 years, dating from 2001 to 2013.
The Washington Post added that there is a long paper trail documenting DeVos’s involvement in the foundation, and only last week the organization filed a “certificate of correction” to remove her name from its official papers.
Senator Hassan said in a statement: “It is hard to believe that Mrs. DeVos could be listed as vice president of the Prince Foundation for 13 years and yet have no involvement with, or knowledge of, the millions of dollars in donations made to anti-LGBTQ groups that promote intolerance.
“For Mrs DeVos to try to explain away these donations by claiming that her title was simply a ‘clerical error’ is concerning, to say the least.”
In addition to its funding for Focus in the Family, the Prince Foundation also poured $6.1 million into Family Research Council, which is listed as an anti-LGBT hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Other groups linked to Mrs DeVos’ family have previously donated $200,000 in a successful bid to add an anti-gay marriage amendment to the Michigan ballot, and at least $500,000 to the National Organization for Marriage.