Trump, Biden campaigns fundraise in anticipation of pricey legal battles


The Trump and Biden campaigns on Wednesday blitzed supporters with fundraising requests in anticipation of drawn-out legal fights around the closely contested presidential election.

Both campaigns spent the day seeking donations as the Trump campaign launched the first volley in the legal battles to come while a handful of states continue counting votes.

Those court challenges and potential recounts are expected to cost millions. The funding is particularly important for the Trump campaign, which was at a significant cash disadvantage in the final weeks of the race.

As of Wednesday afternoon, former Vice President Joe Biden led in Michigan, Wisconsin, Nevada and Arizona, while Trump led in Georgia, Pennsylvania and North Carolina. All seven states are still counting ballots.

The two campaigns went about soliciting donations in starkly different ways.

The Trump campaign sent out a flurry of emails and text messages urging recipients to give while accusing Democrats of trying to steal the election as votes continue to be legally counted in several states.

The fundraising effort from the Trump campaign began in earnest around the time President Trump spoke to supporters at the White House and falsely claimed he had won the election.

One email came with the subject line “They will try to steal the Election.”

Another, which had the subject line “Just like I predicted,” contained the following message: “I need YOUR HELP to ensure we have the resources to protect the results. We can’t allow the Left-wing MOB to undermine our Election. I’m asking my fiercest and most loyal defenders, like YOU, to FIGHT BACK!”

One fundraising plea sent Wednesday displayed Vice President Pence as the sender with the subject line “The President and I need YOU.”

The Biden campaign, meanwhile, framed its solicitations as an effort to fundraise to ensure every vote is counted. 

“The President threatened to go to court to prevent the proper tabulation of votes. We are standing up the biggest and most comprehensive legal effort ever assembled. This work could stretch on for weeks, so I am coming to you to ask you to pitch $25 in to the newly-formed Biden Fight Fund,” campaign manager Jen O’Malley Dillon wrote in an email titled “Donald Trump will not steal this election.”

The vice president himself tweeted out a link asking for donations for the fund, which is set up through the Democratic Party’s ActBlue platform.

The president and his campaign had for weeks signaled they would take any close vote counts to court, and they did so on Wednesday. Officials filed suit in Michigan requesting the state stop counting ballots until the Trump campaign is given additional access to observe ballots being opened and tabulated.

The Trump campaign also said it will request a recount in Wisconsin as the president trails there by roughly 20,000 votes. A 2016 recount in the state requested by Green Party candidate Jill Stein cost an estimated $3.5 million. 

And the campaign has signaled it is likely to challenge the count in Nevada should the state go to Biden. The campaign and the state GOP have already filed multiple lawsuits unsuccessfully seeking more restrictive rules on voting in Nevada.

“We are obviously leading a full court press to make sure that we have all of our legal teams that are in place,” senior adviser Jason Miller said in a statement. “We want to make sure that all legally cast ballots are counted. We also want to make sure that illegally cast ballots are not counted.”

The Trump campaign started the year with more than $100 million in the bank, but it quickly burned through cash. Biden’s campaign came into October with more than $177 million in the bank, while the Trump campaign entered the final month with only $63.1 million.

The president at times suggested he could give his own money to his campaign but has refused to say whether he ever did.

Tags 2020 election Donald Trump election fundraising election law suits Jen O'Malley Dillon Joe Biden legal fees

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