While Democratic nominee Joe Biden remained on the verge of being declared winner of the 2020 U.S. presidential contest on Friday, Reuters reports that the Republican National Committee is seeking to raise $60 million to fund President Donald Trump's legal battles over the election results—although the fine print of the message to donors indicates that up to half of each contribution could go toward retiring Trump's pre-existing campaign debt.
As Common Dreams reported earlier on Friday, the Trump campaign—in addition to the president's outrageous and baseless claims of fraud—is making desperate, last-ditch attempts to contest vote-counting procedures in multiple battleground states where the incumbent's early leads have disappeared.
"This election is not over," claimed Matt Morgan, Trump's top legal adviser, on Friday. "I will never give up fighting for you and our nation," the president said in a statement released by the White House.
Legal experts, however, say that Trump's election litigation efforts "have no merit whatsoever."
Wendy Weiser, director of the Democracy Program at the Brennan Center for Justice at the NYU School of Law argued that the president's lawsuits "look more like public relation stunts meant to create a false impression that the election is filled with improprieties and fraud."
"I don't see any real strategy here," she added.
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Despite the fact that nearly all of Trump's legal battles in Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, and Pennsylvania are being dismissed in court due to a lack of compelling evidence, the RNC is still trying to fundraise for the president.
"They want $60 million," a Republican donor who was contacted by the Trump campaign and the RNC told Reuters.
Critics, however, smelled a grift.
Political observers pointed to the "fine print" of the Trump and RNC donation forms with a warning that such gifts could readily be used to pay off pre-existing campaign debt:
The fine-print on the flurry of fundraising emails being sent out by the Trump campaign/RNC and associated committees: pic.twitter.com/cQ6TXatvNh
— Zeke Miller (@ZekeJMiller) November 5, 2020
"If you give money to Trump's recount/postelection litigation efforts," tweeted Rick Hasen, professor of law and political science at UC Irvine, "half of that money will go towards retiring his campaign debt instead, per the fine print."