Sep 1, 2018

The GoFundMe generation has reached Trump's D.C. swamp

L-R: Michael Flynn, Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok and Michael Cohen. Photos: Aaron P. Bernstein/Chip Somodevilla/Yana Paskova/Getty Images

A GoFundMe set up for President Trump's former fixer Michael Cohen by his lawyer Lanny Davis called the "Michael Cohen Truth Fund" has raised more than $165,000.

The big picture: Cohen isn't the first former Trump-related figure to have a fund set up in his name in order to help defer mounting legal costs. As other government and law enforcement officials have come under fire for alleged misdoings, raising support — in the form of cold, hard cash — has become a frequent next step.

  • Davis writes on Cohen's fundraiser page: "On July 2, 2018, Michael Cohen declared his independence from Donald Trump and his commitment to tell the truth. On August 21, Michael Cohen made the decision to take legal responsibility and to continue his commitment to tell the truth. Michael decided to put his family and his country first.  Now Michael needs your financial help -- to pay his legal fees."

Michael Flynn had the "Michael T. Flynn Legal Defense Fund" set up by his family.

  • His family writes: "The costs of legal representation associated with responding to the multiple investigations that have arisen in the wake of the 2016 election place a great burden on Mike and his family. They are deeply grateful for considering a donation to help pay expenses relating to his legal representation."

Andrew McCabe, former deputy director of the FBI and a frequent political target for Trump, raised over $400,000 in 20 hours. It was shut down after raising more than half a million dollars.

  • McCabe said, per the Washington Post: "Hopefully our efforts, fueled by this incredible support, will encourage others to stand up for themselves, and the truth, as well. It is not lost on me that each contribution reflects not just someone’s well wishes, but also their acknowledgment that something in this situation is not fair or just.”

Peter Strzok, the FBI agent fired over his anti-Trump texts, raked in just under $442,000 in eight days.

  • It says on the fundraiser page: "Peter Strzok, a man who has spent his entire life working to help keep us and our nation safe, has been fired. ... We are asking you to support a man who has dedicated his life to defending America; to stand up for the freedoms on which this country was built and a government that truly serves the people by protecting all Americans."

Go deeper

58 mins ago - Technology

The slippery slope of protest surveillance

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

President Trump's call to treat antifa supporters like terrorists could be a green light for high-tech surveillance of dissidents.

Why it matters: It's unlikely the Trump administration can designate antifa as a terrorist group in any legally meaningful way, but the declaration gives law enforcement tacit approval to use a plethora of tech tools to monitor protesters and left-leaning activists.

The biggest crisis since 1968

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Bettmann/Contributor

The year 1968 has been on a lot of people’s minds lately — another year of protests, violence and upheaval that seemed to be tearing the nation apart.

Yes, but: This crisis also has moments we’ve never seen before — and some historians and experts say the differences suggest that 2020 doesn't compare well at all.

SoftBank to launch $100M fund backing companies led by people of color

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

SoftBank COO Marcelo Claure said in a letter to employees early Wednesday that the firm will create a $100 million fund that "will only invest in companies led by founders and entrepreneurs of color."

Why it matters: The Opportunity Growth Fund is one of the first to put significant capital behind companies' statements of empathy and outrage in response to protests over systemic racism in the U.S. typified by the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and other African Americans by police.