Company that admitted to fraud gets wall contract with Trump's support

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The owner of the company, Fisher Sand and Gravel, is a Republican donor and frequent guest on Fox News.

The Trump administration awarded Fisher Sand and Gravel, a North Dakota-based company owned by Republican donor and frequent Fox News guest Tommy Fisher, a $400 million contract to build a section of the wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, the Washington Post reported Monday.

The company will build 31 miles of border wall in Arizona, with an expected completion date of December 2020.

Earlier this year, the Army Corps of Engineers told Trump that Fisher's bid did not meet appropriate standards to be awarded a contract, the Post reported. Yet Trump continued to lobby for the company, "enamored" with Tommy Fisher, the Post noted, because of Fisher's numerous appearances on Fox News promoting his construction company.

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One of the companies former co-owners, Tommy's brother Michael Fisher, went to prison for defrauding the federal government.

The Washington Post reported as far back as May Trump was encouraging the Army Corps of Engineers to award the contract to Fisher.

Fisher's company has already worked with We Build the Wall, a crowdfunding effort that purchased private border land in New Mexico and erected a wall there. That wall blocked access to to public waterways, and a gate in the wall must be propped open all day to allow federal officials access to the waterways.

During the 2016 campaign, Trump repeatedly promised Mexico would pay for the border wall. When Mexico flatly rejected that plan, Trump began to negotiate with Congress to fund the wall. Despite a GOP-controlled House and Senate, Trump was unable to secure funding for the wall.

In early 2019, Trump declared a national emergency at the southern border, and then took billions of dollars allocated for military families and military bases to be put toward building his border wall.

Despite his campaign pledge to build a big, beautiful wall, Customs and Border Protection confirmed at the end of September that not a single mile of new wall had been built. Up to that point, the only new construction had been replacing older barriers with newer ones.

According to the Post, Trump vowed to build up to 500 miles of new border wall by 2020. The administration counts replacing older portions of the wall with new walls, and has thus far completed 85 miles of border wall.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.