Jan. 6 Committee Finds Misleading ‘Big Rip-Off’ Pro-Trump Ads Raised $250M Peddling the ‘Big Lie,’ Lets Others Decide ‘Whether That’s Criminal’


Election Defense Fund

Former President Donald Trump and his allies raised $250 million on bogus election fraud claims through ads that misled donors about where the money was going, the Jan. 6 Committee found in a video presentation ending their second public hearing on Monday.

Some $100 million of that amount flooded into their coffers in the first week alone, according to their investigation.

Playing on the description of Trump’s election fraud claims as the “big lie,” Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) branded the marketing offensive as the “big rip-off,” and she played a brief video rattling off the committee’s findings.


In the footage, the committee’s senior investigative counsel Amanda Wick noted that Trump barraged his supporters with fundraising emails between Election Day and Jan. 6, sometimes at a clip of 25 messages a day.

“The emails claimed the quote-unquote ‘left-wing mob’ was undermining the election, implored supporters to quote ‘step up’ to protect the integrity of the election, and encourage them to ‘fight back,’” Wick noted. “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 to something called the Official Election Defense Fund.”

The committee found that no such fund existed—and quoted Trump campaign staffers saying as much.

“I don’t believe there is actually a fund called the Election Defense Fund,” said Hanna Allred, an ex-Trump campaign staffer.

Asked whether that name was a “marketing tactic,” ex-Trump campaign digital director Gary Coby replied: “Yes,” adding that it was meant to suggest where “money can potentially go to be.”

On Nov. 9, 2020, less than a week after Election Day, Trump created his Save America PAC, a political action committee through which he’s continued to exert…


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