Dem 51
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GOP 49
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Trump Claims $53 Million Haul after Verdict

Donald Trump has been fundraising his little heart out off his New York criminal trial, and that went into overdrive once he was officially a convicted felon. His campaign announced that in the 24 hours after the trial, he brought in $52.8 million in donations.

That is, obviously, a staggering total. However, take it with at least a grain or two of salt. First, because he has every motivation to get that number as big as is possible, it's possible there was a little book-cooking, and that donations from a period longer than 24 hours (possibly much longer than 24 hours) were added to the total take. The FEC only requires monthly reports, not hourly ones, so it would be entirely possible to misrepresent things like this. It would also be supremely ironic to use phony bookkeeping to misrepresent the money you raised off a conviction for... phony bookkeeping.

Second, it's a fair question as to how much of that money is money he would not otherwise have received. That is to say, if John Q. Maga wasn't planning to donate, but then in a fit of pique sent $100, that's a net gain for Team Trump. But if Mr. Maga was going to send in $100 at some point anyhow, and the trial just happened to cause him to choose "now," then it's effectively a case of robbing Peter to pay Paul. In other words, keep an eye on Trump's June take, to see if it's way down.

The one thing that is clear is that everyone in the Republican Party, save the odd Larry Hogan, is lining up behind Trump's version of events. Consider alleged moderate Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), who issued this statement:

It is fundamental to our American system of justice that the government prosecutes cases because of alleged criminal conduct regardless of who the defendant happens to be. In this case the opposite has happened. The district attorney, who campaigned on a promise to prosecute Donald Trump, brought these charges precisely because of who the defendant was rather than because of any specified criminal conduct. The political underpinnings of this case further blur the lines between the judicial system and the electoral system, and this verdict likely will be the subject of a protracted appeals process.

The claim that Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg campaigned on a promise to prosecute Donald Trump is an out-and-out lie. There is no evidence of that and, in fact, recall that Bragg initially decided NOT to bring charges. This upset some of his underlings so much that they resigned in protest. It took nearly a year of considering the evidence before Bragg decided to move forward. Those facts are entirely inconsistent with the narrative, unsupported by any hard evidence, that he is a Democratic operative.

To take another example, consider alleged moderate Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT), who issued this statement:

Bragg should have settled the case against Trump, as would have been the normal procedure. But he made a political decision. Bragg may have won the battle, for now, but he may have lost the political war. Democrats think they can put out the Trump fire with oxygen. It's political malpractice.

It's remarkable that Willard can squeeze so much wrong into such a short space. To start, it's not known if Bragg offered a plea deal—maybe he did. However, what you can be certain about is that Trump was never, ever going to cop a plea. So, for Romney to pretend this was an option is either disingenuous or ignorant. Further, as noted, there is no evidence whatsoever that Bragg was driven by political considerations here, and there is meaningful evidence he was not. And finally, the very first thing that Joe Biden, leader of the Democratic Party, said after the verdict is that the only way to defeat Trump is at the ballot box. No Democrat thinks they can "put out the Trump fire with oxygen."

In the case of Collins, we can at least understand what is going on: She's always been pretty dishonest, and she has an ongoing political career she's trying to preserve. But Romney is retiring, and need not kowtow to the Dear Leader. Still, the fact that both of them have 100% adopted the party line shows you the power Trump has to dictate "the truth" to anyone and everyone on the red team. (Z)

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