Former President Trump and his die-hard allies raised $250 million off their claims the 2020 election was stolen — but most of the funds went toward his newly created Save America PAC rather than to pay for various challenges to Joe Biden’s victory, the House select committee probing last year’s Capitol riot revealed Monday.
In a video presentation near the end of the committee’s second public hearing in five days, the panel’s senior investigative counsel, Amanda Wick, said the 45th president’s campaign “pushed false election claims to fundraise, telling supporters it would be used to fight voter fraud that did not exist.”
According to Wick, more than $100 million alone was raised in the first week after Election Day.
The video included screenshots of emails imploring Trump supporters to donate to an “Official Election Defense Fund.”
“The select committee discovered no such fund existed,” said Wick.
The committee also played audio of Trump 2020 campaign digital director Gary Coby agreeing with an interrogator who suggested the fund was merely a “marketing tactic.”
Most of the money, Wick said, went to entities that directly benefited Trump’s family and friends rather than “election-related litigation.”
Among the outlays Wick cited from Save America PAC were $1 million each to a pair of pro-Trump think tanks — the Conservative Partnership Institute and the America First Policy Institute — as well as more than $200,000 to the Trump Hotel Collection and $5 million to Event Strategies, the firm that helped put on the Jan. 6, 2021 ‘Stop The Steal’ rally that precipitated the Capitol riot.
Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), accused Trump and his backers of swindling supporters who donated in good faith to help the former president’s legal cause.
“Small-dollar donors use scarce disposable income to support candidates and causes of their choosing, to make their voices heard, and those donors deserve the truth about what those funds will be used for,” she said. “Throughout the committee’s investigation, we found evidence that the Trump campaign and its surrogates misled donors as to where their funds would go and what they would be used for.
“Not only was there the big lie, there was the big rip-off,” Lofgren added. “Donors deserve to know where their funds are really going. They deserve better than what President Trump and his team did.”