The House committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection said that President Donald Trump’s 2020 campaign used baseless allegations of election fraud to raise hundreds of millions of dollars from supporters who were told their donations were for Trump's legal fight in the courts. Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., played a video during Monday’s hearing to demonstrate those instances.
ZOE LOFGREN: Mr. Chairman, at this time, I'd ask for unanimous consent to include in the record a video presentation describing how President Trump used the lies he told to raise millions of dollars from the American people. These fundraising schemes were also part of the effort to disseminate the false claims of election fraud.
- Without objection.
AMANDA WICK: My name is Amanda Wick and I'm Senior Investigative Counsel with the House Select Committee to investigate the January 6 attack on the United States Capitol. Between election day and January 6, the Trump campaign sent millions of fundraising emails to Trump supporters, sometimes as many as 25 a day.
The emails claimed the, quote, "Left-wing MOB" was undermining the election, implored supporters to, quote, "step up to protect" the integrity of the election, and encourage them to, quote, "fight back." But as the Select Committee has demonstrated, the Trump campaign knew these claims of voter fraud were false, yet they continued to barrage small dollar donors with emails, encouraging them to donate to something called "The Official Election Defense Fund." The select committee discovered no such fund existed.
HANNA ALLRED: I don't believe there is actually a fund called the Election Defense Fund.
- Difference in the Election Defense Fund was another, I think we called it a marketing tactic.
GARY COBY: Yes.
- And tell us about these funds as marketing tactics.
GARY COBY: Just a topic matter, where money could potentially go, how money could potentially be used.
AMANDA WICK: The claims that the election was stolen were so successful, President Trump and his allies raised $250 million, nearly $100 million in the first week after the election. On November 9, 2020, President Trump created a separate entity called the Save America PAC. Most of the money raised went to this newly created PAC, not to election related litigation.
The Select Committee discovered that the Save America PAC made millions of contributions to pro-Trump organizations, including $1 million to Trump Chief of Staff Mark Meadows' charitable foundation, $1 million to the America First Policy Institute, a conservative organization which employs several former Trump administration officials. $204,857 to the Trump Hotel Collection and over $5 million to Event Strategies Inc. the company that ran President Trump's January 6 rally on the Ellipse.
DONALD TRUMP: All of us here today do not want to see our election victory stolen by emboldened radical left Democrats which is what they're doing.
AMANDA WICK: The evidence developed by the Select Committee highlights how the Trump campaign aggressively pushed false election claims to fundraise, telling supporters it would be used to fight voter fraud that did not exist. The emails continued through January 6, even as President Trump spoke on the Ellipse.
AMANDA WICK: 30 minutes after the last fundraising email was sent, the Capitol was breached.