The Select House Committee investigating trump's Insurrection is ongoing, but we need to take a moment to note how they revealed trump's con artist habits.
Basically, trump used the Big Lie of a "stolen election" to rip off his supporters for about $250 million. Via Amanda Marcotte at Salon.com:
During the entire two and a half months between Election Day and Jan. 6, Trump was shaking down his gullible supporters for cash that he claimed would help fight "election fraud." Those funds, however, largely appeared to go into the pockets of Trump and his allies.
"The big lie was also a big ripoff," declared Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., during her opening remarks on Monday. She argued that the campaign used "false claims of election fraud to raise hundreds of millions of dollars from supporters who were told their donations were for the legal fight in the courts." In reality, however, most the money — which is estimated to be a cool $250 million — went into a super PAC. From there, it was redirected into the coffers of Trump himself and towards various friends and family members...
I've noted before that trump's entire political career was part of his ongoing criminal business empire, designed to line his own pockets to inflate his worth while leaving bankruptcies and damage in his wake. Given opportunities to rake in millions of campaign funds - even money he himself never raised, but took from the Republican coffers meant for other campaigns - trump would think only for himself, not for whatever cause he claimed it was for.
Thing is, what trump and his lackeys did that post-election cycle - solicit funds from people under false pretenses - opens him up to criminal charges for wire fraud. Via Lachlan Markay at Axois.com:
Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) and Amanda Wick, the committee's chief investigative counsel, zeroed in on what the Trump campaign's fundraising emails described as its "Official Election Defense Fund."
Those emails were central to a Trump fundraising operation that brought in about $250 million after the 2020 election, in part by promising the money would fund legal challenges and other efforts to overturn the election.
In reality, the committee alleged, millions of dollars were funneled to vehicles like Save America — a leadership PAC set up by Trump after the election — and other political and advocacy groups with ties to top Trump aides...
"The select committee discovered no such fund existed," Wick revealed in a pre-recorded video, citing taped depositions with two Trump campaign staffers.
"Not only was there the 'Big Lie,' there was the Big Ripoff,'" Lofgren said.
"It's clear that [Trump] 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," she added in comments after the hearing...
Legal experts say this line of inquiry is a clear effort to show that the Trump campaign and its allies may have used fraudulent tactics to raise money in the months after the 2020 election, when many top officials privately knew their claims of voter fraud were false.
"This is an allegation of textbook wire fraud," Randall Eliason, a former federal prosecutor and white-collar crime professor at George Washington University, said of Lofgren's comments...
As Lawrence Tribe, professor of Constitutional Law at Harvard, notes on his Twitter feed:
Today’s testimony opens a new possibility: charging Trump not only with seditious conspiracy (18 USC 2384), inciting insurrection (2383), defrauding the US (371) & obstructing a congressional proceeding (1505) but also wire fraud (18 USC 1343): fleecing ordinary citizens of $$$$$— Laurence Tribe (@tribelaw) June 13, 2022
The Big Lie of a stolen election becomes the motive behind millions of stolen dollars. Real crimes are taking place here.
Attorney General Garland better follow through on this, and charge trump for his crimes.
Justice must prevail.