Both parties have been quick fundraise off of the news that former President Donald Trump was indicted, potentially boosting their campaign coffers on the final day of the first fundraising quarter.
Trump's own campaign sent out multiple fundraising pitches in the hours after news broke Thursday evening that a Manhattan grand jury voted to indict the former president. Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg has been investigating alleged hush money payments paid during Trump's 2016 campaign to an adult film star who claimed she had an affair with Trump 10 years prior, which Trump has denied. But it's unclear what the exact charges are, as the indictment remains under seal.
Trump has sent at least five fundraising email, including quickly after the news broke Thursday evening with the subject line, "BREAKING: PRESIDENT TRUMP INDICTED." The pitch asked donors to "make a contribution — of truly any amount — to defend our movement from the never-ending witch hunts and WIN the WHITE HOUSE in 2024."
Trump's campaign is also selling t-shirts with "I stand with Trump — 3.30.2023" written on them, noting the date Trump was indicted.
Trump will 'raise a ton of money' off of N.Y. indictment: Chuck ToddMarch 30, 202302:47
Other Republicans blasted the news to their fundraising lists, seeking to capitalize on the potential GOP outrage.
An email pitch from GOP Rep. Jim Banks, who is running for Senate in Indiana, said Trump has been indicted on "FALSE POLITICAL CHARGES," even though the charges are not yet public.
"We need your help, patriot. We must stand strong in the face of political tyranny and fight back," the pitch read, linking to Banks' fundraising page. Banks' page on the WinRed fundraising platform urges donors to "save Trump's legacy" and is splitting donations between Banks' campaign and Trump's Save America PAC.
An email that initially appeared to come from "Trump News Alert" on Thursday night was actually from Missouri GOP Sen. Josh Hawley's campaign. The pitch urged donors to "Stand with President Trump," directing them to a fundraising page for Hawley, who is up for re-election next year.
A Democrat running against Hawley, Lucas Kunce, also seized on the news, blasting out an image of a tweet Hawley sent earlier this month after Trump claimed he would soon be arrested, where Hawley accused Democrats of wanting to arrest a political opponent and called them "a banana republic party."
"This is what we’re up against here in Missouri," read Kunce's fundraising pitch. "Missourians deserve better than a fraud and a phony like Josh Hawley representing them in the U.S. Senate."
And Kunce wasn't the only Democrat to jump into the fundraising fray. Other candidates, campaign committees and outside groups sent similar pitches, capitalizing on a grassroots donor base activated after Trump's first election that record fundraising sums for Democratic candidates.
"Let us be perfectly clear: In light of the STUNNING news about Donald Trump’s unprecedented indictment, it’s never been more clear that we need to defeat his extremist loyalists in the House," read a Friday fundraising email from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
Other progressive groups used the indictment to solicit donations from supporters too, including MoveOn, the grassroots group that has its roots in the 1990s controversy over President Bill Clinton's extramarital relationships (many Democrats backed a petition calling for Congress to "censure President Clinton and move on to pressing issues facing the nation").
The extent of a fundraising surge from Trump's indictment is not yet clear, and could be muddled by the typical bump in fundraising that often occurs at the end of a quarter. Friday is the last day for candidates and political groups to raise money for the first quarter, so politicians usually use that final day for a last-minute fundraising push.
Campaign finance reports are due to the Federal Election Commission on April 15, covering campaign activity from the first three months of 2023.