Donald Trump stands at a White House podium.

Oh of Course Donald Trump Is Already Trying to Use Impeachment to Fundraise for 2020

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It’s been less than 24 hours since House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced an official impeachment inquiry into Donald Trump, and the Trump team is already trying to use it as a hook for their 2020 campaign fundraising.

In fact, the campaign reportedly sent texts and emails to Trump’s followers before Pelosi even made her announcement, asking them to join an “Official Impeachment Defense Task Force” and promising that their donations will be double matched.

As Mother Jones notes, that double matching promise is unlikely to actually be true due to some pesky campaign finance laws. Still, Trump isn’t going to let something as insignificant as legality stop him from making big promises in exchange for campaign help! The emails say this nonexistent task force “will be made up only of President Trump’s most LOYAL supporters, the ones committed to fighting for him, reelecting him, and taking back the House.”

In another email sent out today, he pushed the old “witch hunt” standby, saying, “I’VE DONE NOTHING WRONG. TRUST ME, YOU SAW THE TRANSCRIPT.” That’s a bold statement, and one that seems to be banking really hard on the assumption that few of Trump’s supporters have actually taken the time to read the transcript memo—Trump hates reading, so why would anyone else do it?—because that is absolutely not what it says.

Over on his own Twitter page, Trump posted a video showing a supercut of a bunch of Democrats saying they want to impeach Trump, along with the laughable statement that “While Democrats’ ‘sole focus’ is fighting Trump, President Trump is fighting for you.”

Meanwhile, rightwing news outlets seem to be scrambling to come up with some sort of spin to make the entire impeachment/memo story more palatable.

By the way, if you’re wondering (like I was) what would happen to these newly raised campaign funds were Trump’s Defense Task Force to fail and he were to actually get impeached and removed from office, campaign finance law allows a candidate who drops out of a race (and, presumably, one who is forced to leave office, as well) to donate the remainder of their campaign fund to a charity.

Now, the Donald J. Trump Foundation would seem like the obvious choice for that money, but it shut down earlier this year thanks to allegations that Trump was using it for personal and political gain. The Eric Trump Foundation (which has also been accused of similar misappropriations of funds) also shut down back in 2016. I wonder if any of the other Trumps happen to have plans to coincidentally establish their own charities in the coming months. I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

(image: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

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Vivian Kane
Vivian Kane (she/her) is the Senior News Editor at The Mary Sue, where she's been writing about politics and entertainment (and all the ways in which the two overlap) since the dark days of late 2016. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where she gets to put her MFA to use covering the local theatre scene. She is the co-owner of The Pitch, Kansas City’s alt news and culture magazine, alongside her husband, Brock Wilbur, with whom she also shares many cats.