Trump and his Republican allies are using the FBI raid on his Mar-a-Lago estate on Monday to raise money, giving the former president yet another opportunity to profit from government investigations into him.
In a fundraising email sent out Tuesday morning, Trump’s Save America PAC asked for donations and said, “I need you to IMMEDIATELY stand with me against this NEVERENDING WITCH HUNT.”
In the email, Trump portrayed the legal search of his property as an assault on his supporters as a whole, claiming that the FBI raid “violated” not only his home but also the “home of every patriotic American who I have been fighting for since that iconic moment I came down the Golden Escalators in 2015.”
The email pleaded for the assistance of “every red-blooded American Patriot” at the current time.
Both the DOJ and the FBI have remained silent on the matter, citing policy against commenting on active investigations as the reason for their silence.
Trump’s fundraising committees have been bringing in relatively smaller hauls over the past few months, so this latest push comes as his fundraising prowess appears to be gradually slowing down.
In a report released last month, Trump’s Save America Joint Fundraising Committee stated that the total amount raised during the three-month period of April–June was only $17 million, of which the Save America PAC itself raised just under $6 million. This sum is a far cry from the hundreds of millions of dollars Trump’s team and the Republican Party raised in the months after the 2020 election.
In addition to Trump’s PAC, the Republican National Committee tried to profit from the FBI raid by continuing to solicit donations in his name. On Monday night, as the news of the raid was spreading, the organization emailed its supporters with the subject line “BREAKING NEWS” and the message “This is UNPRECEDENTED.”
“We need YOU… to step up RIGHT NOW to stand with the GOP and STOP JOE BIDEN,” the email pleaded.
In an appearance on Fox News early on Tuesday, Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel kept up the fundraising push for Trump-backed Senate candidates in 2022. She specifically mentioned Herschel Walker in Georgia, J.D. Vance in Ohio, Adam Laxalt in Nevada, and Dr. Mehmet Oz in Pennsylvania.
Conversely, “Defund the FBI” hats and T-shirts were being sold by Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s campaign.
ABC News quoted Craig Holman, a government affairs lobbyist for the Washington, DC, progressive watchdog group Public Citizen, as saying, “The FBI raid at Mar-a-Lago provides not just Trump, but the whole Republican base that affiliates with Trump, a significant but temporary boost in fundraising and an opportunity to propagandize for the upcoming election.”
Holman said the appeals could be “highly successful at first, but probably short-lived,” though this could change depending on what the FBI found at Trump’s estate.
With the FBI remaining silent, “Trump and his affiliates can scream the most extreme conspiracy messages for fundraising,” Holman said. In contrast, “the appeals will lose their legs once the FBI begins unveiling what it found hidden away in Mar-a-Lago,” assuming the FBI did in fact find incriminating records.
Bennie Thompson (D-MS), who is heading the House select committee looking into the attack on the Capitol on January 6th, said he doesn’t know the specifics of the FBI raid but that it must have been based on a warrant approved by a judge.
If you’re doing an investigation, you have to stick to the facts, Thompson said. I don’t know the specifics behind the FBI’s raid on Mar-a-Lago, but I do know that a judge had to sign off on the warrant’s supporting affidavit.
Donald Trump has claimed that the raid on Monday is part of a pattern of “political targeting” of him and his supporters.
In a statement released on Monday night, Trump said, “The political persecution of President Donald J. Trump has been going on for years.” To paraphrase, “It just keeps going and going and going.”
Meanwhile, Trump’s 2016 opponent, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, appeared to be capitalizing on the news of the raid as well. She tweeted a donation link for her political organization on Monday and promoted “But her emails” hats and T-shirts already in circulation.
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