Late last week, Steve Bannon was arrested for fraud. Bannon held a fundraiser called “We Build the Wall,” in which he oversaw the stated goal of amassing private funds to build portions of the wall on the Mexican border. Bannon’s group succeeded in raising $25 million, proving that no grift is too obvious for the MAGA crowd. That Bannon skimmed at least one million off from the sum to help himself proves that the grift is about the grifters. The grifter in chief, Donald Trump, sent supporters dozens of apocalyptic emails in the days following the elections, all blasting the need to “stop the steal.” Yet almost none of the money was used in litigation to test the election or actually “stop” the transition of power, even illegal activities. Instead, the money supported Trump’s events post-administration. Sound familiar?
Good, because the FBI sees the behavior as akin to Bannon’s and the FBI investigates crimes like this on a daily basis, it’s their bread and butter, fraud that crosses state lines. The FBI now wants to examine documents pertaining to Trump’s super PACs:
Save America PAC is under new legal scrutiny after the Justice Department issued a round of grand jury subpoenas that sought information about the political action committee’s fundraising practices.
Much of the money Trump has amassed was raised in the days and weeks after the 2020 election, which he lost to Democrat Joe Biden. That’s when Trump supporters were bombarded with a nonstop stream of emails and texts, many containing all-caps lettering and blatant lies about a stolen 2020 election, soliciting cash for an “election defense fund.”
But no such fund ever existed. Instead, Trump has dedicated the money to other uses. He’s financed dozens of rallies, paid staff and used the money to travel as he’s teased an expected 2024 presidential run.
You can flood progressive television news with sad footage of dogs and cats suffering, video that nearly compels a person to pull out the card, so long as nearly all the money is spent helping dogs and cats. You cannot make video of suffering animals and use it to purchase the new dog food you’ve invented, thus enriching yourself. The example is akin to what Trump did with the money raised. Instead of feeding off people’s compassion for animals, Trump used the MAGAs raw fury over the election to raise millions of dollars, sent with the belief that the money would be used to keep Trump in the White House. The FBI and others believe it was not.
Trump will now undergo a new round where he likely fights over whether the subpoena itself is legal. When it is shown to be legal, Trump will then surely fight over the scope and which documents are responsive. One thing is near certain. Trump is quite experienced and very wily when it comes to fooling people out of their money. Those emails will likely contain small print that Trump will argue gets him around any possible charge. It is doubtful that the issue will be as black and white as Bannon’s actions.
But it is not a fight Trump needed right now, and that likely factored into DOJ’s decision, too – use the timeline to help weaken Trump’s overall defenses. Prosecutors around the country use the technique, and it is ethical, so long as the new effort is justified in the law. It is near impossible that DOJ would risk its position versus Trump with a mistake regarding this subpoena.
@JasonMiciak believes a day without learning is a day not lived. He is a political writer, features writer, author, and attorney. He is a Canadian-born dual citizen who spent his teen and college years in the Pacific Northwest and has since lived in seven states. He now enjoys life as a single dad of a young girl, writing from the beaches of the Gulf Coast. He loves crafting his flower pots, cooking, and currently studies philosophy of science, religion, and non-math principles behind quantum mechanics and cosmology. Please feel free to contact for speaking engagements or any concerns.