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Donald Trump
Former President Donald Trump speaks during a rally. Godofredo A. Vásquez/AP

Trump and Republicans Immediately Start Fundraising Off Guilty Verdict

Minutes after Trump was convicted on all 34 counts, the former president and other Republicans began fundraising off the verdict.

Within minutes of a jury of Donald Trump’s peers finding the former president guilty on all 34 felony counts in Manhattan criminal court, Trump’s political operation was asking donors for money — and within half an hour, a GOP fundraising platform had crashed.

“I’M A POLITICAL PRISONER,” the Trump campaign said in an all-caps email blast moments after he became a convicted felon. “I DID NOTHING WRONG! YOUR SUPPORT IS THE ONLY THING STANDING BETWEEN US AND TOTAL TYRANNY!”

Both of the campaign arms for House Republicans and the Senate GOP — the NRCC and the NRSC — joined the calls for money almost immediately after the verdict as well, linking to the same chaotic fundraising landing page on X that reads, “Before the day is over, I’m calling on TEN MILLION pro-Trump patriots to chip in and say: I STAND WITH PRESIDENT TRUMP!”

The appeals seemed to have an immediate effect, as GOP fundraising platform WinRed began to have problems processing all the traffic it was receiving in the aftermath of the verdict. (The platform appeared to be back online accepting donations briefly, but was having intermittent outages.)

The day after the guilty verdict, the Trump campaign claimed it raised nearly $35 million in the hours following the trial decision. And the Trump campaign said nearly 30% of the donors were brand new to WinRed.

Meanwhile, the Democratic Party was silent in the immediate aftermath of the verdict. And neither the DCCC nor the DSCC — the campaign arms for House Democrats and Senate Democrats, respectively — made fundraising appeals on X right after the verdict, though Democratic strategists have been plotting how to win the post-verdict spin war.

As for President Joe Biden, his campaign made a fundraising pitch 20 minutes after the verdict came down — without mentioning the trial, the verdict or the fact that Trump had just become a convicted felon.

“There’s only one way to keep Donald Trump out of the Oval Office: At the ballot box,” Biden’s team posted on X with a link to a nondescript donation page.

One Democratic strategist who works in battleground states told NOTUS shortly after the verdict that the Biden campaign doesn’t need to fundraise off the verdict like Trump. This person noted that Biden’s official campaign account had $84 million on hand at the end of April, while Trump only had $49 million.

“I’m not worried about the campaign having the money they need to win they are already way ahead on that front,” the strategist said.

Claire Heddles is a NOTUS reporter and an Allbritton Journalism Institute fellow.