The House committee investigating the Capitol riot revealed that the Trump campaign brazenly misled donors about where massive amounts of money that was raised would actually go. The Trump campaign said donor money would support an “Official Election Defense Fund.” There was no such fund.
The New York Times reported late last year that the riot committee was examining the potential of formally recommending that somebody be charged in connection with the millions of dollars raised by Republicans under the cover of what would have been apparently knowingly false claims of election fraud. These latest revelations, sketching out just how disconnected the fundraising was from actual efforts to challenge the election outcome, could significantly add to that potential criminal activity. Trump donors were lied to about the basis for the fundraising and where their money would go.
Info the committee has gathered along these lines was featured in a video presentation aired at the Monday hearing that featured remarks from Amanda Wick, a senior investigative counsel for the panel. “Between Election Day and January 6, the Trump campaign sent millions of fundraising emails to Trump supporters, sometimes as many as 25 a day,” Wick said. Presumably, the “millions” refers to the total copies of sometimes identical messages sent to Trump’s mailing list or lists, while the “25” refers to the number of distinct messages sent to anybody in a day.
Post-election fundraising emails from Trump’s camp contained all sorts of deceptive claims related to the election. “But as the Select Committee has demonstrated, the Trump campaign knew these claims of voter fraud were false, yet, they continued to barrage small-dollar donors with emails, encouraging them to donate to something called the Official Election Defense Fund,” Wick said in the video. “The Select Committee discovered no such fund existed… The claims that the election was stolen were so successful President Trump and his allies raised $250 million, nearly $100 million in the first week after the election.”
“Most of the money raised went to this newly created PAC, not to election-related litigation,” Wick added, referencing Trump’s so-called Save America PAC he formed after the election. Millions of dollars went from that PAC to various right-wing organizations. “Every American is entitled and encouraged to participate in our electoral process. Political fundraising is part of that. Small-dollar donors use scarce disposable income to support candidates and causes of their choosing… Those donors deserve the truth about what those funds will be used for,” committee member Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) added Monday. Check that all out below or over at this link:
"The Trump campaign knew these claims of voter fraud were false, yet they continued to barrage small dollar donors with emails encouraging them to donate to something called the Official Election Defense Fund. The Select Committee discovered no such fund existed." #January6th pic.twitter.com/tDXYCt604s
— CSPAN (@cspan) June 13, 2022
During the Monday hearing, the riot committee also aired clips of past testimony to the panel from ex-Attorney General Bill Barr, who sharply opposed Trump’s nonsensical claims of election fraud. “I was somewhat demoralized, because I thought, boy, if [Trump] really believes this stuff, he has lost contact with — he’s become detached from reality, if he really believes this stuff,” Barr said in apparent reference to a particular set of stolen election claims Trump shared with him. “On the other hand, when I went into this, and would tell him how crazy some of these allegations were, there was never an indication of interest in what the actual facts were.” These sorts of revelations would potentially help establish corrupt intent on Trump’s part, which might be relevant for a hypothetical criminal case against him. He couldn’t be reasonably said to have had no idea he was wrong about the election.