Politics Trump’s fraud claims a boon for his and his allies’ fundraising

Trump’s fraud claims a boon for his and his allies’ fundraising
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Trump’s insistence that there was voter fraud and calls for for recounts are serving to create post-election unity amongst his base, and lift cash the president can use to keep his political career afloat after January, political fundraisers and marketing campaign finance consultants told POLITICO.

“He has always understood that money equals power, and now he wants to have a bunch of money and it’s going to give him a seat at the table. That’s what he’s doing,” said Richard Painter, White House ethics lawyer for George W. Bush.

If Trump can keep his base of largely white, working class conservatives going forward, he can keep enduring affect over the Republican Party, Painter added.

“He has these blocs of voters that other Republicans didn’t have, and probably won’t have in the future — and that’s what he wants to raise this money to control,” Painter said.

While many Republicans in Washington have privately dismissed the president’s claims about a stolen election as a flailing publicity stunt, Trump’s narrative is proving far more compelling to voters: A full 70 p.c of Republicans don’t assume the election was free or truthful, a recent POLITICO/Morning Consult ballot found. And politicians who have backed Trump all through his presidency have more and more lined up behind the president. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said this week that Trump is “100 percent within his right” to challenge the election outcomes.

Conservatives who flourished throughout Trump’s administration have turn into practically as vocal about election interference as the president himself. Dan Bongino, the commentator and podcaster whose posts are among the many most-shared on Facebook on a near-daily foundation, has unleashed dozens of posts a day alleging suspicious vote tallies and warning his supporters not to cow to moderates and liberals.

“We don’t owe them a concession because there’s nothing to concede. This election’s not over,” Bongino said in a video posted to Facebook on Tuesday.

Bongino is also an investor in — and prolific consumer of — Parler, the right-wing information media site billing itself as an various to Twitter that grew to become probably the most downloaded free app on iTunes in recent days, as Twitter repeatedly censored Trump’s claims of fraud.

On Parler, people looking for cash off the election fraud claims embrace QAnon supporter Marjorie Taylor Greene, who last week won election to Congress in Georgia, and has in recent days repeatedly circulated a “STOP THE BIDEN STEAL!” petition and fundraising link to her followers.

In the approaching months, Trump may use cash from his new PAC, referred to as Save America — the existence of which was reported for the first time by The New York Times on Mondayto journey the nation and stage rallies, which may cost a whole lot of hundreds of {dollars}. He may promote candidates who have been loyal to him and make donations to their campaigns. And, if he wished to, he may place his family members and former administration officers on payroll, and proceed to host lavish events at his properties with out tripping up marketing campaign finance legislation.

“Former presidents have all sort of faded away after their last election. Trump is clearly a different person,” said Ben Ginsberg, an election lawyer who served as counsel to the Bush-Cheney marketing campaign and the RNC. “He can go in and help candidates that he likes, he can use the money to advocate on issues as they come up if he wanted to do that. He can keep a donor list fresh.”

So-called “leadership PACs” affiliated with lawmakers have come under scrutiny in recent years for his or her lax spending guidelines. In recent years, congressional lawmakers have used such PACs to journey to Puerto Rico and London, fly on personal jets, pay dues at personal membership clubs and guide rooms on the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C., a report by the great authorities group Issue One found. Such PACs are much much less tightly regulated than lawmakers’ marketing campaign committees, which carry strict guidelines about how a candidate can spend donors’ cash.

Lawmakers are usually prohibited from utilizing management PAC cash to fund their campaigns, which makes it unlikely that Trump would legally be allowed to use his management PAC cash to assist fund the authorized fights, authorized consultants told POLITICO.

“I don’t think the FEC has ever said leadership PACs can be used for this purpose, and I don’t think they would” permit it, said Adav Noti, former counsel on the Federal Election Commission.

The Biden marketing campaign is also elevating cash into a authorized fund. Those funds go to the DNC and to the Biden marketing campaign’s recount fund, both of that are allowed to spend cash preventing Trump’s election challenges.

Currently, when a donor clicks on one of the Trump marketing campaign’s fundraising solicitations or donates on Trump’s web site, they’re taken to the “Official Election Defense Fund.” That will allocate 60 p.c of the donation to the management PAC, and 40 p.c to the RNC. Once the donor has given $5,000 to the PAC — the utmost quantity allowed for a PAC donation — then cash will go to Trump’s recount fund and the RNC.

Before Trump created the PAC on Monday, the web site said a share of the donation would go in the direction of paying the marketing campaign’s money owed.

“It’s extremely misleading,” said Noti, who noted the RNC already had cash set apart for recounts and different post-election authorized proceedings that it could spend within the coming weeks. The DNC has a comparable account.

Though Trump’s attempt to overturn the election outcomes may assist him construct a beneficial basis for the months to come, some institution Republicans are more and more involved the push will suck cash and power from their party’s largest challenge within the coming months: the high-stakes pair of runoff Senate races in Georgia that may decide which party has management of the Senate.

Senate Republicans have also made a joint fundraising web page to accumulate cash for Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue — but it didn’t appeal to the widespread social media consideration of Trump’s efforts.

“The real question for conservatives is, do you want Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi to have unfettered power?” said Scott Jennings, a Republican advisor. “The answer to that will be a resounding, ‘No.’”

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