Much of Monday’s hearing was spent demonstrating that Donald Trump had rejected the advice of some of his most trusted and capable advisers in order to seize on the Big Lie, as promoted by an apparently drunk Rudy Giuliani.
But Trump was not just content to dupe his followers, he snookered them into lining his pockets, too. In a powerful video presentation, the committee showed how Trump used the Big Lie to raise $250 million he claimed would go to a non-existent “Official Election Defense Fund.”
Most of the funds went to Trump’s newly created PAC, The Save America PAC, not to election-related litigation, senior Investigating Counsel Amanda Wick told viewers. (That bill seems to have been sent to the RNC.)
Instead, the PAC gave millions to pro-Trump organizations, such as $1 million to the Conservative Partnership Institute, Trump Chief of Staff (and probable actual voter fraudster) Mark Meadows’ charitable foundation, and $1 million to the loyalist-filled America First Policy Institute. More than $200,000 went directly to the Trump Hotel Collection and more than $5 million to the company that ran Trump’s January 6 rally.
The emails were so successful at fund raising, Wick said, that the Trump campaign sent millions of them to his supporters, sometimes as many as 25 a day. Nearly $100 million from small donations was raised in the first week after the election.
“30 minutes after the last fundraising email was sent, the Capitol was breached,” Wick added.
Apparently, this was not Trump’s only Big Lie rip-off. Committee member Rep. Zoe Lofgren said after the powerful presentation, “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.”