“Not only was there the Big Lie, there was the Big Ripoff,” said Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) near the end of the Jan. 6 committee’s second hearing in laying out how the Trump campaign scammed money from supporters over false claims of election fraud.
The Trump campaign sent “millions” of emails to Trump supporters about how they needed to “step up” to protect election integrity, according to the Jan. 6 committee. The money would go to the so-called the “Official Election Defense Fund” — which doesn’t appear to have actually existed, according to testimony.
The fund — which, again, did not actually exist — raised $250 million, most of which did not go to election litigation, but to Trump’s newly created Save America PAC. The PAC then made contributions to Mark Meadows’ charity, to a conservative organization employing former Trump staffers, to the Trump Hotel Collection, and to the company that organized the rally that preceded the attack on the Capitol last Jan. 6.
"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." #January6th pic.twitter.com/tDXYCt604s
— CSPAN (@cspan) June 13, 2022
“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,” said Amanda Wick, a lawyer for the Jan. 6 committee. “The emails continued through Jan. 6, even as Trump spoke on the Ellipse. Thirty minutes after the last fundraising email was sent, the Capitol was breached.”