House pushes for Trump's removal after deadly Capitol riot

By Meg Wagner, Melissa Macaya, Mike Hayes, Melissa Mahtani and Veronica Rocha, CNN

Updated 1:29 AM ET, Wed January 13, 2021
2 Posts
Sort byDropdown arrow
11:05 a.m. ET, January 12, 2021

Why impeachment can't stop Trump from fundraising in the future

From CNN's Fredreka Schouten

President Donald Trump attends a campaign rally on January 4 in Dalton, Georgia.
President Donald Trump attends a campaign rally on January 4 in Dalton, Georgia. Brynn Anderson/AP

House Democrats on Monday pushed ahead with their effort to have President Donald Trump impeached, convicted in the Senate and disqualified from ever holding federal office again over last week's siege on the US Capitol by a pro-Trump mob.

But even in the unlikely event that two-thirds of senators would agree to convict Trump, there's little to stop him from continuing to ask his supporters for money in the months and years ahead, campaign finance experts say.

Disqualification "has no bearing on the political committee money he already has raised, and it would have no bearing on his ability to continue to raise money into a political committee," said Paul S. Ryan, a top lawyer with the watchdog group Common Cause.

"He has a lot of options, and he has the infrastructure in place," added Larry Noble, a CNN contributor and former general counsel at the Federal Election Commission.

In addition to his presidential campaign committee, Trump already has established a post-presidency vehicle — the Save America political action committee — that can help underwrite his expenses, fund travel and staff and support like-minded candidates.

And experts say Trump, as a non-candidate, would be free to launch other fundraising arms with even fewer legal guardrails on his activity than his current committees. Running a super PAC, for instance, would give Trump the option to spend unlimited amounts of money and take contributions of any size, including an in-kind donation of his campaign's data about its donors.

Although Twitter's decision Friday night to permanently ban Trump from its platform immediately cut the President off from his 88.7 million followers, Trump and his campaign committee still have "an enormously valuable asset in their email list," Ryan said.

The President has inundated his supporters with appeals for cash — helping to raise more than $200 million between the election and early December alone as he falsely argued that the election against him was rigged. There was no evidence of widespread fraud.

By CNN's count, the Trump campaign had sent 606 fundraising emails between 11 p.m. ET election night and Wednesday afternoon, shortly before the Capitol was breached.

The Trump campaign did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

But Trump campaign adviser Jason Miller has indicated the President intends to remain a fundraising force, telling The Washington Post over the weekend that Trump still is "the biggest name in Republican politics" and plans deploy millions of dollars to help GOP congressional candidates in the 2022 midterm elections.

11:05 a.m. ET, January 12, 2021

House Democrats plan to vote tomorrow to impeach Trump. Here are the key things to know.

From CNN's Jeremy Herb, Manu Raju, Lauren Fox and Phil Mattingly

Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images
Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images

House Democrats plan to vote Wednesday to impeach President Trump, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer told Democrats on a caucus call Monday, setting up an impeachment vote one week after rioters incited by Trump overran Capitol police and breached some of the most secure areas of the US Capitol.

Here are key things to know about the impeachment fight in Congress:

  • Democrats formally introduced their impeachment resolution Monday, charging Trump with "incitement of insurrection" as they race toward making him the first president in history to be impeached twice. You can read the full document here.
  • The single impeachment article, which was introduced when the House gaveled into a brief pro-forma session Monday, points to Trump's repeated false claims that he won the election and his speech to the crowd on Jan. 6 before the rioters breached the Capitol. It also cited Trump's call with the Georgia Republican secretary of state where the President urged him to "find" enough votes for Trump to win the state.
  • The resolution, which was introduced by Democrats David Cicilline of Rhode Island, Jamie Raskin of Maryland and Ted Lieu of California, also cited the Constitution's 14th Amendment, noting that it "prohibits any person who has 'engaged in insurrection or rebellion against' the United States" from holding office.
  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told Democrats on Sunday evening that the House would vote on impeachment this week unless Pence moves to invoke the 25th Amendment with a majority of the Cabinet to remove Trump from power.
  • Still, House Democrats' race toward impeachment poses complications for the incoming Biden administration, as a Senate trial threatens to hamper the opening days of Biden's presidency. While some Democrats had suggested waiting to send the impeachment resolution to the Senate until after Biden's first 100 days in office, Hoyer and other top Democrats said Monday they wanted to do so immediately.
  • Because Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said he won't bring back the Senate from recess before Jan. 19, that would push the trial into the beginning of the Biden administration.

Read more here.