Trump raised $ 200m from fraudulent election claims. What happens to the money now? | Donald trump

The battle is lost. The main court and the electoral college have spoken. Even Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who is so capable of repeating the rules for political gain, has admitted that Donald Trump is not the next president.

But the money flowing into Trump’s political coffins suggests the issue will not soon drive the former president into the political shadows.

Trump has been on a fundraising campaign since the election, quickly raising a staggering $ 200m or more behind his false claims that the vote was held hard.

His campaign attacked supporters with emails and text messages – as many as 30 a day – applying for donations to combat funds to challenge the outcome. But with the election settled, that’s not where the money is going.

Most of the money is directed to Save America, an organization set up as a leadership political action committee (Pac) shortly after the election. Leadership Packs is designed to allow people to raise money to support a favorite candidate and Trump cannot legally use the money to fund a run directly for his own office, such as another bid for the leadership in four years.

But Brendan Fischer, a campaign finance expert at the Campaign Law Center, said Trump’s fundraising was unparalleled and evidence of pointless political ambition.

“I can’t think of any other president who has formed a leadership PAC immediately after losing an election and starting to raise money for it fiercely. This is completely, completely unique, ”he said.

“I think it’s basically going to be a vehicle for Trump’s political activism after the White House.”

Trump raised the money in a blitz of claims for donations to what was listed as an “official electoral defense fund” without explicitly mentioning Save America. An aggressive sales pitch was built around the president’s false claims that the election was held hard – even as one legal challenge after another was knocked down.

“We need YOUR HELP to destroy the integrity of our Election,” said one email.

Another email carried the subject line: “The Report Results were BOGUS.”

The money came in but most of it will not go anywhere near a pre-arranged election result. Some were used to pay off Trump’s campaign debts, and 25 cents in every dollar goes directly to the Republican party. The rest is paid to Save America.

“We would expect there to be more than $ 100m in a leadership Pac account by this point,” Fischer said. “That’s amazing. That’s a lot of money, far more than Pac built any other leadership I can think of. “

Fischer said that is a sign that Trump does not intend to quietly return from the political level to write his memoirs.

“The creation of a Pac leadership is certainly a sign that Trump intends to remain very active in politics, and that he aims to remain a key political player,” he said.

“Because Leadership Pacs is quickly managed, it was able to use the fund not only to keep the employees of its enterprise on the payroll, but also to gain financial benefit. . He could use the leadership Pack to pay a salary to himself, to wage family members. There are lots of things you can do with this. “

Jennifer Victor, an associate professor of political science at George Mason University, said the smart move for Trump would be to use the money to fund a selection of political loyalists to keep Trump alive.

“Is he brutal enough as a political activist to use that money to build a broad coalition in which he is at the center and the money that could strengthen his political position? It’s hard to say because his political movement so far has been so centered around himself, ”she said.

“He needed to be interested in building the Republican party around Trumpism, which has been happening naturally over the last few years. But to make that a permanent feature of the Republican party it would then have to use the political capital that has built around a name for the party ‘s benefit, which means giving it to other candidates. “

Victor said that created a headache for the Republican leadership if he hoped to move beyond Trump.

“It will not just be a vice-president and a candidate, but a candidate who has won the second-highest vote of an American candidate ever, second only to Joe Biden. So he has a huge fan base. At the same time, it has always gone against the norms of the Democratic and the norms of the Republican party, “she said.

Then there is Trump’s stated desire to run for president again in four years.

“Save America can’t be used to support the Trump campaign, but there are a number of ways that could be used to lay the foundation for running for office in 2024,” he said. Fischer.

“Perhaps where it will be more useful to fund the Trump campaign to support another candidate. He could pay for rallies in support of another candidate. It can be used to pay for ads that are run independently of the candidate it supports. “
This could include running funding for an office with one of his own children. Profitability is already revolving around the possibility of Ivanka Trump running for the U.S. Senate in Florida.

All of this maintains the image and political influence of the president in the Republican party, especially since he has been able to turn other people’s campaign events into de facto Trump rallies.

The fact that Trump cannot use the donations to solve the legal and financial problems he faces when he leaves the White House may stand in the way of future political ambitions.

Manhattan district attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. is leading a criminal investigation into the Trump business deal. New York state attorney general Letitia James is in charge of a civil investigation after President’s attorney Michael Cohen told Congress Trump to increase the value of his assets to get and then reduce bank loans to charge a tax.

The investigations have recently expanded to investigate possible consultancy fees that may have gone to President Ivanka ‘s daughter. She responded to news of the investigation by calling him politically motivated harassment.

Trump loses his protection from a criminal charge when he leaves office. While he states that he has the power to pardon himself before leaving the White House, such a move would only apply to federal crimes, not allegations made by New York or any other state. in.

The president is also facing huge debt repayments. Trump has personally pledged about $ 420m in debt to his businesses that will have to be repaid in the coming years, according to the New York Times.

Most of these debts are held by Deutsche Bank. Last month, Reuters reported that the bank was trying to sever ties with the president.

The Trump Group, the presidential umbrella group currently run by his two sons, is in about $ 340m for Deutsche Bank. The loans, which are against Trump’s buildings, will start coming to an end in two years.