Days before Hawley launched Google probe, Peter Thiel donated to his Senate campaign

Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel made the maximum contribution to Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley four days before Hawley’s office launched an investigation into Google.

Thiel, a co-founder of PayPal and early investor in Facebook, wrote two checks to Hawley’s Senate campaign on Nov. 9 totaling $5,400, the maximum contribution for a federal race. Four days later, Hawley’s office announced that it was launching an anti-trust investigation into Google.

Thiel had previously donated $300,000 to Hawley’s successful 2016 campaign for attorney general, which took place before the state’s new limits on campaign contributions went into effect.

Those donations received scrutiny in November because Thiel, who funded Hulk Hogan’s lawsuit against Gawker, had previously called Google a monopoly and during a 2012 panel in Aspen contended that investing in Google is “betting against innovation.”

Thiel Capital, the billionaire’s San Francisco-based investment firm, did not respond to an inquiry about Thiel’s support for Hawley.

Hawley’s office in November sidestepped questions about a possible link between Thiel’s political support and the Google investigation. Hawley’s campaign spokeswoman, Kelli Ford, gave a more emphatic answer rejecting the suggestion of a tie between the donations and the investigation.

Read more: Kansas City Star

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