Trump fundraising push for legal challenges also pays down campaign debt
The Trump campaign is requesting donations for an election legal defense fund, but according to the fine print, at least half of any contribution will go toward paying down debt from the president’s reelection campaign.
The fundraising effort comes as President Trump has mounted legal challenges in battleground states including Michigan, Georgia and Pennsylvania. Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has pulled ahead in those states as vote counting continues.
The Trump campaign has won one legal fight so far, which allowed its election monitors to stand closer to the ballot counting in Philadelphia.
The Wall Street Journal first reported that the Trump campaign, as well as the Republican National Committee (RNC), have sent dozens of texts and emails calling for financial support as Trump legally challenges the voting procedures.
“We must PROTECT the Election!” one text signed by Donald Trump Jr. reportedly reads. “My father’s calling on YOU to help bolster our critical Election Defense Fund.”
On the donation page, first highlighted by the Journal, there is a disclaimer that says 50 percent of any contribution will go toward the general election campaign debt retirement and 50 percent for the campaign’s recount account.
Another legal aid fundraising pitch, according to the newspaper, leads to a donation page for the “Make America Great Again” committee, with fine print noting 60 percent of those donations go to ending campaign debt and 40 percent go to the RNC.
If you give money to Trump’s recount/postelection litigation efforts, half of that money will go towards retiring his campaign debt instead, per the fine print. pic.twitter.com/JnryvupS67
— Rick Hasen (@rickhasen) November 6, 2020
Biden has also started fundraising as both campaigns expect a legal challenge over the election results.
The Hill has reached out to both Biden and Trump’s campaigns for comment.
Both the RNC and DNC would likely play a key role in funding legal battles that come out of the election.
It was reported in October that Trump’s campaign faced a significant cash deficit against Biden’s campaign just weeks out from Election Day.
Biden’s campaign started October with more than $177 million, while the Trump campaign started with only $63.1 million in the bank. That was a big switch for the Trump campaign, which has raised and spent more than $1 billion this cycle.
Trump started the year with more than $100 million in the bank, compared to less than $10 million for Biden.