Former president Donald Trump bombarded his supporters with more than 100 emails asking for money based on the FBI’s search of the Mar-a-Lago Club for classified materials last week. They paid off.
Contributions to Trump’s political action committee topped $1 million on at least two days after the Aug. 8 search of his Palm Beach, Fla., estate, according to two people familiar with the figures. The daily hauls jumped from a level of $200,000 to $300,000 that had been typical in recent months, according to the people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss nonpublic information.
The donations stayed unusually high for several more days and are still above average, both of these people said, though they have leveled off in recent days. There are more contributors than usual, these people said, and the average donation has climbed.
The influx comes at a crucial time for Trump as he considers an early announcement for a 2024 presidential campaign and has seen dwindling returns on his online fundraising solicitations earlier this year. The former president’s PAC brought in $36 million in the first half of the year, dropping below $50 million in a six-month period for the first time since he left office, according to Federal Election Commission data.
The cash bonanza also provides a concrete sign that Trump is reaping some political benefits from the revelation that he is under investigation by the Justice Department for potential violations of laws including the Espionage Act. Trump and his supporters have repeatedly boasted in emails, social media posts and right-wing media articles that the search warrant would backfire on President Biden and rally Republicans around Trump. The search prompted sympathetic statements from politicians such as Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) and former vice president Mike Pence, who are not reflexively full-throated in defending Trump. And on Tuesday, Wyoming primary voters delivered a resounding defeat to Rep. Liz Cheney, whose leadership as a Republican on the House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol made her a top priority for Trump to unseat. [Continue reading…]