President Donald Trump and the Republican Party raised $255.4 million in the eight-plus weeks following the Nov. 3 election, new federal filings show, as he sought to undermine and overturn the results with unfounded accusations of fraud.
Trump’s strongest fundraising came in the immediate aftermath of the election, such as after major media organizations declared on Nov. 7 that President Joe Biden had won. But even as Trump and his legal team lost case after case — in venues including the Supreme Court — his donors continued to give repeatedly. More than 2 million contributions flowed in to Trump, the Republican National Committee and their shared accounts from Nov. 24 through the end of 2020.
The donations were made public over the weekend in a Federal Election Commission filing by WinRed, the digital platform that Republicans use to process online donations. Trump’s campaign committee, joint committees with the RNC, and the new political action committee he formed after the election, Save America, will all file additional disclosures Sunday with more details on spending and fundraising.
Trump had previously announced that he and the RNC had raised $207.5 million in the first month following the election. The new records show that his fundraising fell sharply in December compared with November, with an especially notable dip after Dec. 14, the day the Electoral College formally cast its ballots to make Biden the nation’s 46th president and reality may have set in for some of Trump’s supporters about the futility of the efforts to overturn the result.
In the two weeks leading up to the Electoral College vote, Trump and the RNC had raised an average of $2.9 million every day online; in the two weeks after, the average was $1.2 million.
In fact, Trump and the RNC had raised more than $2 million online every day since the election until Dec. 14. They did not raise that much again for the rest of 2020 until Dec. 31, when donations spiked at the end-of-year deadline.
The new figures capture almost all of Trump’s online fundraising, as he stopped raising money Jan. 6, the day on which he addressed a mob of supporters who then stormed the Capitol in a violent riot and on which Biden was formally ratified by Congress as the next president.
Following that riot, Trump essentially ceased sending fundraising pitches to his supporters (the RNC paused for about a week). His last campaign email that day began, “TODAY will be a historic day in our Nation’s history.”
Still, Trump left office with tens of millions of dollars raised for his new Save America PAC, which he can use to fund a post-presidential political operation, including travel and staffing.
But Trump still faces a wave of legal costs, with a looming impeachment trial in the Senate set to begin in a little more than a week. Late Saturday, Trump abruptly parted ways with the lead lawyer, Butch Bowers, on his impeachment defense.
In his first impeachment, the RNC shouldered some of the legal expenses for Trump because he was the sitting president and the party leader. Those costs included a $196,000 payment to Alan Dershowitz, the lawyer who served as part of Trump’s defense team.
It is not clear what role the RNC will play in the upcoming impeachment, but the party’s coffers did benefit immensely from Trump’s aggressive fundraising as he spread conspiracy theories about voting fraud. Some 25% of funds raised through Trump’s email and texting operation were earmarked for the RNC.