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Trump Routing ‘Election Integrity’ Money to Retire Campaign Debt

About an hour after voting ended in Alaska on Wednesday morning, President Trump sauntered to a podium and made the laughable claim that he won the election. Within hours, the fundraising parts of his operation let the truth slip out via the fine print: the claim was just another chance to bleed the marks dry.

Julie Bykowicz has the details in The Wall Street Journal [1]:

Starting early Wednesday, the campaign and the Republican National Committee have been sending dozens of daily text messages and emails saying they need financial support to challenge voting procedures.

“We must PROTECT the Election!” says one campaign text Friday signed by Mr. Trump’s son Donald Trump Jr. “My father’s calling on YOU to help bolster our critical Election Defense Fund.”

Clicking through to the donation page, potential givers can review a disclaimer that 50% of any contribution will be used for general election campaign debt retirement and 50% for the campaign’s recount account.

Other Trump fundraising pitches in recent days ask for help to “protect the integrity of this election” but lead to a donation page for Mr. Trump’s “Make America Great Again” committee. The fine print on those solicitations says 60% of a contribution helps the campaign retire debt and 40% goes to the Republican National Committee.

Under normal circumstances, a losing campaign asking for help to pay off its debts isn’t a problem. However, “normal circumstances” and the year 2020 have not exactly been good neighbors.

In this case, the campaign is pretending it hasn’t lost – and indeed it is claiming it needs money to “protect” the election, when in fact at least half of the funds will be for anything but. Given the opaque nature of the Trump campaign’s finances (ABC News [2]), one has to wonder whose pockets are getting lined by the campaign addressing its accounts payable. Pulling a bait-and-switch on small Republican donors does nothing to remove suspicion from that.

Moreover, of all the lawsuits Trump’s campaign is putting forward, only one has any serious chance of success – the case against Pennsylvania counting ballots mailed in after November 3. The problem for Trump is this: there aren’t nearly enough of those votes to make the difference. In fact, none of them were being counted when Biden took the lead on Trump in the Keystone state on Friday morning – nor when he was projected to win it. The roughly 5,000 ballots that did make it between the 4th and the 6th would barely make a dent in Biden’s current lead, which is over 45,000 as I write this.

However, the court case can give Trump a “victory” that he can use to advance his real agenda: the grift. Indeed, Trump’s entire career – from real estate to television to politics – has been about nothing else. He takes what he can no matter the lie; he avoids paying no matter the bill.

If I were one of Trump’s lawyers, I’d be really worried about my invoices right now.

As for the rest of us, we can prepare for the Biden Administration to begin in January. Trump’s presidency will come to an end, but the grift will go on, because that’s Trump’s top priority.

Nothing gets in the way of the grift. Nothing.