The House select committee investigating the January 6 Capitol attack suggested in Monday’s public hearing that former President Donald Trump scammed his supporters out of $250 million by asking for donations for an “Official Election Defense Fund” that the committee found never existed.

“As the select committee has demonstrated, the Trump campaign knew these claims of voter fraud were false, yet they continued to barrage small-dollar donors with emails, encouraging them to donate to something called an Official Election Defense Fund,” Amanda Wick, a senior investigative counsel for the committee, said in a video message at the hearing.

“Claims that the election was stolen were so successful, President Trump and his allies raised $250 million, nearly $100 million in the first week after the election,” Wick added.

Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-California), who led Monday’s hearing, said that a very small amount of the money actually went to election litigation as promised. Instead, the majority of funds raised were allocated to other pro-Trump entities, such as Trump’s Save America political action committee, the Trump Hotel Collection, then-chief of staff Mark Meadows‘ charity and the company responsible for organizing the “Stop the Steal” rally that preceded the Capitol attack. Lofgren said that donors had the right to know where their money was going.


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In the first hearing, the committee made it clear that they believed Trump had a “seven-part plan” to overturn the election. They will continue outlining their case against Trump through hearings scheduled to run through July. While the committee does not have the power to indict the former president, their findings will likely play a key role in influencing public perception.

The committee’s third hearing is slated for Thursday.

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