House

Jan. 6 panel says Trump preyed on small campaign donors

The Trump campaign exploited its donors to raise millions of dollars off of claims of election fraud officials knew were false, the House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot argued Monday. 

“Throughout the committee’s investigation, we found evidence that the Trump campaign and its surrogates misled voters as to where their funds would go and what they would be used for. So not only was there the big lie; there was the big rip-off,” Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) said in a closing statement at Monday’s hearing. 

In a pre-recorded video, senior investigative counsel Amanda Wick explained how the campaign sent millions of fundraising emails to supporters between Election Day 2020 and Jan. 6, 2021, the day of the riots. The emails urged donors to give money to “fight back” and “step up” in response to the “left-wing mob” and Democrats undermining the election. 

In all, former President Trump and his allies raised $250 million off the efforts, Wick said, including $100 million in the week after the election. 

And while publicly some Trump allies said they would continue to challenge the results, numerous campaign aides testified to the committee that privately they told Trump there was no evidence of widespread fraud to support his claims. 

Two former Trump campaign aides — Gary Coby and Hanna Allred — testified to the committee that the so-called Election Defense Fund promoted by the campaign did not exist and was merely a marketing tactic. 

Tags Jan. 6 panel Trump Trump campaign Zoe Lofgren Zoe Lofgren

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