“I can think of no other president who has set up a leadership PAC immediately after losing an election and begun fundraising for it furiously. This is entirely, entirely unique,” Brendan Fischer, a campaign finance specialist at the Campaign Legal Center, told The Guardian in reference to President Trump, who has reeled in around $200 million after asking donors to back his fight to overturn the presidential election.
Trump won’t win that fight, especially after the Supreme Court got involved and the Electoral College sealed President-elect Joe Biden’s victory, but the money is “basically going to be the vehicle for Trump’s post-White House political operation,” Fischer predicts.
There are certain things he legally cannot do with the funds — for starters, the money can’t be used to resolve any legal or financial problems he may face after leaving office, and it also can’t support a potential 2024 presidential run. It can, however, lay the groundwork for that campaign, Fischer said. But the money would likely be most useful if it went to another candidate who would perhaps act as a successor of sorts. “It can potentially pay for rallies in support of another candidate,” Fischer said. “It can be used to pay for ads that are run ostensibly independently of the candidate that he’s supporting.”
Of course, that would mean Trump has to be interested in more than his own personal success. “Is he savvy enough as a political operator to use that money to essentially build a broad coalition in which he is the center and the doler-out of the money that could strengthen his political position?,” asked Jennifer Victor, an associate professor of political science at George Mason University. “It’s hard to say because his political movement so far has been so centered around himself.” Read more at The Guardian. Tim O’Donnell