FBI's Mar-a-Lago search juices GOP fundraising
Monday's FBI search of Mar-a-Lago may have targeted former President Trump, but Republicans from D.C. to Kansas to California are looking to cash in on the fallout.
Driving the news: The unprecedented law enforcement action provided extensive fodder for political fundraising appeals all day Tuesday, with Republican operatives predicting a windfall for their candidates and committees.
- National Republican Party organs, congressional leaders, House and Senate candidates across the country and Trump himself all rushed out urgent emails and text messages pegged to the FBI search and begging for contributions.
- The common theme: the "Swamp," "deep state" and political establishment are out to get "your president."
Why it matters: Those fundraising appeals are sure to juice a struggling Republican small-dollar fundraising operation.
- But they risk inflaming already sky-high tensions over a federal criminal investigation about which few details are publicly known.
What they're saying: "This is manna from Mar-a-Lago," one Republican digital operative told Axios.
- "After months of trying to find something that can resonate with our people, this is the perfect thing to go on offense on."
Details: Trump himself is getting in on the action. His Save America joint fundraising committee blasted out emails and text messages on Monday and Tuesday with dollar asks pegged to the search.
- PACs affiliated with House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) also sent out fundraising texts, with McCarthy's team declaring, "This is the type of BS you see in a Third World Country!"
- The Republican National Committee and the National Republican Congressional Committee both pitched donors with similarly frantic appeals, according to text message data provided by the spam screening service RoboKiller.
Less prominent politicians also invoked the search in their fundraising asks on Tuesday.
- Sen. Roger Marshall's (R-Kansas) campaign decried "Joe Biden’s witch hunts and politicization of America’s system of justice" in an email asking for donations.
- Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) called it "just one more example of our two-tiered justice system."
- House candidates in Georgia, New Hampshire and Florida also pegged fundraising appeals to the search.
The other side: The development was also embraced by some Democrats and independents in their fundraising materials — though to a far lesser degree than Trump allies.
- Donors to the liberal Super PAC American Bridge received a fundraising email about the search Tuesday afternoon with a survey question: "Should Trump be held accountable and indicted for his actions?"
- Evan McMullin, an unaffiliated, anti-Trump candidate challenging Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah), sent a fundraising appeal that said the "unprecedented" search shows "this must be serious. They’re closing in on him."
Even ostensibly apolitical businesses got in on the action.
- The company Bishop Gold sent a barrage of text messages on Tuesday, blaring: "BREAKING NEWS!!! FBI RAIDS TRUMPS MARALAGO!! SEIZE PRIVATE DOCUMENTS IN SAFE!!! CALL NOW TO SUPPORT DONALD TRUMP AND STOP THE DEEP STATES ABUSE OF POWER!!!"
- It urged recipients to call a toll-free number.
- A person on the other end of the line told Axios: "People are concerned that normal Americans are going to be at risk next and the money that they've worked hard for is going to be susceptible, between inflation and this current tyrannical administration. "