The news about the DOJ bombarding Trump henchman with subpoenas earlier this week was heartening, but I’m especially interested in where the investigation might lead on the Trump grift machine operating under the name “Save America PAC.” An AP article published today echoes a revelation from the January 6th committee:
Much of the money Trump has amassed was raised in the days and weeks after the 2020 election, which he lost to Democrat Joe Biden. That’s when Trump supporters were bombarded with a nonstop stream of emails and texts, many containing all-caps lettering and blatant lies about a stolen 2020 election, soliciting cash for an “election defense fund.”
But no such fund ever existed. Instead, Trump has dedicated the money to other uses. He’s financed dozens of rallies, paid staff and used the money to travel as he’s teased an expected 2024 presidential run.
Other expenses have been more unusual. There was the $1 million donated last year to the Conservative Partnership Institute, a nonprofit that employs Cleta Mitchell and former Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows, both of whom encouraged Trump’s failed attempt to overturn the 2020 election.
Our campaign finance regulations are toothless and terrible by GOP design, so it might be legal to swindle people into contributing to a nonexistent “election defense fund” — I really don’t know. The million donated to a “nonprofit” controlled by Cleta Mitchell and Mark Meadows sounds like a legal bribe to keep them in Trump’s corner. The bulk of the fund is probably what Trump uses to live a billionaire lifestyle on a disgraced crook’s reduced and highly leveraged income.
The AP notes that Trump has little to fear from the FEC because Republican commissioners block any attempt to take action on blatant financial malfeasance. But the DOJ is interested in the fund. Maybe their interest is secondary to the ongoing investigation of Trump’s efforts to overthrow the government, but it would be a nice bonus to emphasize again that Trump is lying to supporters so he can rip them off.
On the other hand, as long as the most gullible deplorables are contributing to Trump’s personal slush fund, that’s money they won’t be donating to Republican House and Senate campaigns, the latter of which are already underfunded because Rick Scott looted the NRSC. So, take your time, DOJ!