Trump predictably uses FBI raid as fundraising opportunity

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Donald Trump’s fundraising behemoth stirred to life Monday evening as his home at Mar-a-Lago was raided by FBI agents and the former president found new ammo for his argument that the government and Democrats in the House and Senate are “persecuting” him.

The ex-president’s campaign arm, currently taking the form of the Save America PAC, blasted out both emails and texts to supporters the next morning as many Americans were just waking to the news of the FBI’s search for classified documents at Mar-a-Lago.

Follow live coverage of the Trump raid

“Nothing like this has ever happened to a President of the United States before, and it’s important that you know it wasn’t just my home that was violated — it was the home of every patriotic American who I have been fighting for since that iconic moment I came down the Golden Escalators in 2015,” his fundraising email read.

The predictable ploy is one of Mr Trump’s favourites — he has long stoked his supporters’ anger and willingness to open their wallets by fundraising on both rage against his political enemies for perceived persecution, as well as his own threats to do exactly what he accuses his enemies of doing back to them.

The irony of Mr Trump fundraising off of an FBI raid of his house is that he called for that very thing to occur to Hillary Clinton in 2016, often suggesting that she should be imprisoned for imagined crimes or threatening to do it himself.

Mr Trump’s fundraising prowess remains impressive in his post-presidency; at the end of last year, he controlled more cash on hand than did both major US political parties combined. Part of that stems from his unwillingness to spend his massive haul in large amounts thus far, which has suggested to many observers that he plans to utilise it in 2024.

His supporters in the media and on Capitol Hill cried foul after the raid for that reason, as many believe Mr Trump plans to run in 2024. Some, like Fox News’s Jesse Watters, suggested that the move by the FBI was done to prevent such a third campaign for the presidency by Mr Trump.

The 45th president is known to be under investigation by a grand jury in Georgia over his attempts to influence officials in the state to help him overturn the election, and the Justice Department is operating a second grand jury probe focused on the January 6 attack in Washington DC.