Trump swindles the deplorables

As much as I’m enjoying the January 6th committee’s careful assembly of evidence proving former President Trump is a [douchebag]. I wasn’t seeing much in the way of a criminal offense until this week’s underreported story about how Trump used his “STOP THE STEAL” fundraising appeals to grift his supporters out of $250 million, none of which was, in fact, used to fight election fraud.

Ann Coulter: Trump swindles the deplorables

Related:

Trump’s $250 million grift: Calling Attorney General Leslie Rutledge to enforce Deceptive Trade Practices Act:

But there was also this, from the New York Times account, which bears closer scrutiny:

Investigators went further on Monday, detailing how the Trump campaign and its Republican allies used claims of a rigged election that they knew were false to mislead small donors and raise as much as $250 million for an entity they called the Official Election Defense Fund, which top campaign aides testified never existed.

“Not only was there the big lie,” said Representative Zoe Lofgren, a California Democrat who played a key role in the hearing, “there was the big rip-off.”

Money ostensibly raised to “stop the steal” instead went to Mr. Trump and his allies, including, the investigation found, $1 million for a charitable foundation run by Mark Meadows, his chief of staff; $1 million to a political group run by several of his former staff members, including Stephen Miller, the architect of Mr. Trump’s immigration agenda; more than $200,000 to Trump hotels; and $5 million to Event Strategies Inc., which ran the Jan. 6 rally that preceded the Capitol riot.

Aides said Kimberly Guilfoyle, the girlfriend of Mr. Trump’s son Donald Trump Jr., was paid $60,000 to speak at that event, a speech that lasted less than three minutes.

“It is clear that he intentionally misled his donors, asked them to donate to a fund that didn’t exist and used the money raised for something other than what he said,” Ms. Lofgren said of Mr. Trump.

Steve Bannon just lost his bid to toss criminal charges over his defiance of House January 6 committee

A federal judge on Wednesday refused to throw out criminal contempt of Congress charges against Steve Bannon, greenlighting the July jury trial to proceed against the onetime Trump advisor over his defiance of the House committee investigating the January 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol.

Steve Bannon just lost his bid to toss criminal charges over his defiance of House January 6 committee

Steve Bannon made ‘deeply flawed’ arguments for escaping a contempt of Congress prosecution, House tells judge

Steve Bannon has made “deeply flawed” arguments for escaping prosecution on contempt of Congress charges and should stand trial as scheduled in July, House lawyers said, in an unusual court brief backing up the Justice Department’s case against the onetime Trump advisor.

Steve Bannon made ‘deeply flawed’ arguments for escaping a contempt of Congress prosecution, House tells judge