According to a new report from The New York Times, some of the latest investigative efforts undertaken amid federal inquiries into actions by Donald Trump and key allies of his after the 2020 presidential election have focused on fundraising, spending, and the possibility of fraud.
In short, it could be shown that some of the extensive fundraising conducted by Trump’s team and institutional supporters after that last election was undertaken on the basis of brazen — and known — lies. Telling supporters of a plan to challenge supposed election fraud can’t really be defended as a concept if you know the claimed fraud is fake, meaning any challenge, at least as many were portrayed, would also be bogus. The detail has already been spread that a claimed fund for fighting election fraud — described to supporters as official! — didn’t actually exist, but issues continue. As explained in a past article from NPR, wire fraud could eventually be alleged here, and another relevant factor would be that much of the money went simply to other political operations around Trump — planned uses not identified to prospective donors, at least generally speaking.
As recapped in the Times, investigators have been seeking clarifying info on “whether Mr. Trump and his aides violated federal wire fraud statutes as they raised as much as $250 million through a political action committee by saying they needed the money to fight to reverse election fraud even though they had been told repeatedly that there was no evidence to back up those fraud claims.” Subpoenas have accompanied these inquiries, although the Times doesn’t have an overabundance of specific details about what materials were sought.
The publication did note that a joint fundraising committee involving the cooperation of Trump’s team and GOP party operatives has been under scrutiny, and materials sought have extended all the way to, well, now. Also under examination have been GOP relationships with Salesforce, an email marketing vendor used for fundraising efforts — and where metrics could support an assessment that key players intentionally leaned into what in reality were lies for financial gain.
It’s been extensively documented that Trump and others around him were repeatedly informed of the ample evidence indicating Joe Biden’s win in the 2020 election was legitimate. That conclusion was shared by individuals ranging from Bill Barr, who departed as U.S. Attorney General after the election but before Trump left power, to outside interests tasked by the Trump campaign to examine various allegations of sweeping fraud.