RNC Fundraising Off Trump’s Impeachment, But The Funds Aren’t Going to His Defense
WASHINGTON ― As senators listened to details this week of the violence and damage that then-President Donald Trump’s mob inflicted on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, his party is raising money off the impeachment trial, calling it a “SCAM,” a “HOAX” and “completely UNCONSTITUTIONAL.”
Using emails and text messages sent to a small-donor list created jointly by the Republican National Committee and Trump’s campaign, the appeals claim to be aiding his cause during the Senate proceedings.
“Pres. Trump needs you during this impeachment trial SCAM,” screamed one text message on Tuesday.
“They are so desperate to TEAR HIM DOWN that they are attempting to remove him from an office he no longer holds,” added an email sent Thursday morning. “We CANNOT let this madness go on any longer.”
Links in the emails and texts, however, lead to RNC web pages with none of the money raised going to either Trump’s presidential campaign or his new “leadership” committee, Save America. “Contributions are used to fund all RNC programs, and will be spent as the RNC determines within its sole discretion,” the fine-print disclaimer reads.
RNC officials did not respond to HuffPost queries about the fundraising effort, which mimics a recent bait-and-switch scheme by Trump himself.
Trump has not set up a fundraising apparatus for his Save America committee, but collected at least $76 million for it from the time he created it days after the Nov. 3 election and Jan. 6, claiming that he needed it for his challenges to the results in key states won by Democrat Joe Biden and to help Republicans win two Jan. 5 Senate runoff elections in Georgia. Trump, however, spent none of the money given to Save America for either of those purposes through the end of 2020, Federal Election Commission records show.
The laws governing such “leadership” PACs allow Trump to spend that money with almost no restrictions. He could spend it on personal expenses or even pay himself an eight-figure salary, if he chooses.
The RNC had been jointly raising money with Trump since he secured the GOP’s 2016 presidential nomination straight through Jan. 6, the day thousands of pro-Trump rioters attacked police at the Capitol and threatened lawmakers, with the goal of stopping Congress from certifying Biden’s win in the 2020 election.
The party’s rules prohibit it from supporting one 2024 presidential candidate over another, and RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel has said publicly she could not favor Trump in that cycle’s primary if he chooses to run again, as he has said he might.
Nevertheless, the majority of the 168-member group remain solid supporters of Trump, despite his incitement of the Jan. 6 insurrection, his refusal to take part in a peaceful transfer of power, and the party’s loss of the House, the Senate and the White House during his presidency.
When Trump called in to an RNC breakfast on Jan. 7 at its meeting in Florida, no one brought up what had happened the previous day and most in the room applauded him. The following day, resolutions praising and thanking both Trump and his supporters passed unanimously.
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