Given its potential impact on 2022 politics, it probably should have gotten more coverage. Late last week, lawyers for former President Donald Trump sent letters to the Republican National Committee, the National Republican Congressional Committee, and the National Republican Senatorial Committee saying they were to "immediately cease and desist the unauthorized use of President Donald J. Trump's name, image and/or likeness in all fundraising, persuasion, and/or issue speech." To avoid funding "RINOs" that have opposed him, Trump indicated that those wishing to support Republican candidates should instead give to his "America First" fundraising political action committee, with the implication being that he would then distribute the money to favored "non-RINO" candidates.
It didn't take long for the RNC to push back against the legal threat, claiming through its attorney on Monday that the RNC "has every right to refer to public figures as it engages in core, First Amendment-protected political speech, and it will continue to do so in pursuit of these common goals."
But before making that formal legal response, the RNC agreed to move part of its spring retreat in April to Mar-a-Lago and pay Trump big bucks for the hosting. Reportedly, it was an attempt for RNC to show its loyalty to Trump in the hopes that former President would reward that loyalty by supporting its fundraising endeavors. Because, of course, that strategy has worked so well in the past....
My guess is that the RNC attorney's retort to that threat is probably correct, though I'd like to see some legal analysis on the subject. No doubt though the matter will never be litigated. Trump has a long history of making empty legal threats. That's understandable as Trump's batting average in legal proceedings is abysmal.
While the RNC wasn't intimidated by the Trump threat, there are literally thousands of GOP state and local organizations, as well as individual candidate committees, which may well be. Going into the 2022 elections, state and local candidates might want to promote their Trump bona fides in fundraising entreaties. If hit with C&D letters, they may choose to forego those efforts.
Then you have the additional problem of publicity. If Trump insists his cult followers should not contribute directly to GOP candidates, but should instead send their money to him so he can divvy up the cash, Republican candidates will have their fundraising efforts crippled. And, anyone who thinks Trump would actually forward that money to GOP candidates, has not been paying attention these last five years. Trump does not care squat about the Republican Party. He will be spending that money on the one thing he cares about - Donald Trump. Given Trump is deeply in debt and facing likely criminal prosecution and certain civil litigation, he needs the money.
OOP's short takes:
- True to form, members of my Republican Party have now decided, since Trump is out of office, they care about deficit spending again. All GOP members of Congress voted against the $1.9 trillion Covid-19 economic relief package. Yet, they had no problem supporting the Cares Act last year (also aimed at pandemic economic relief) which added even more to the nation's deficit. The Senate vote on the Cares Act, signed by Trump, was 96-0 by the way.
- Republican members of Congress are going to regret not showing more support for the Covid-19 relief bill. About 40% of Republicans support the bill in polls, yet 0% of Republicans in Congress did. Biden was already popular, but he's about to get even more popular.
- I found something I care less about than the British Royal Family - Piers Morgan. Why anyone would employ that blowhard is beyond me.