According to a report from the Guardian, a growing number of big-money Republican donors are handing over cash to GOP lawmakers who stepped up and voted to convict Donald Trump of sedition in his second impeachment trial in an effort to wean the party away from its connection to the disgraced former president.
With Politico reporting that Trump will be meeting this week with an assortment of suitors seeking his backing to primary GOP lawmakers, longtime donors are aiming to rid the party of the man who oversaw the loss of both chambers of Congress and the White House during his one term.
First on their list is backing up the contingent of anti-Trump incumbents who will be targetted by ex-president who is expected to launch a "revenge tour" beginning with a speech at next week's CPAC.
One target, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY). is already benefitting for leading the charge against Trump.
"Some four dozen Republican donors were on a fundraising conference call on 5 February with Liz Cheney, the congresswoman and only Republican House leader to vote for Donald Trump's impeachment for his role in the mob attack on the Capitol on 6 January," the report states. "Many of the donors on the Cheney call are expected to donate the maximum amount of $5,800 to her 2022 re-election campaign before the end of the first quarter of this year, to ward off a primary challenge to her which Trump loyalists like congressman Matt Gaetz are encouraging."
According to one of those donors, Michael Epstein, "We want to show a really big cycle for her to scare off competition. We want people who make judgments based on what's right."
He is not alone.
"The number of donors on the call reflects in part a growing movement among Republican fundraisers to try to fight off threats from the Trump-supporting majority, which has maintained its hold on the Republican base, despite Trump's loss to Joe Biden in the 2020 election," the Guardian's Peter Stone wrote. "A more aggressive effort to try to take on Trump and his allies and move the Republican party away from their influence, is also being mounted by a new Pac called Country First, which was unveiled in late January by the Illinois congressman Adam Kinzinger, one of just 10 Republican House members who voted to impeach Trump"
GOP lawmakers who have bucked Trump may also get an assist from Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) who is currently engaging in a cold war with Trump for control of the party, with the Guardian report stating, "McConnell has indicated he will be active in backing candidates that are best for the party's future and, after voting to acquit Trump, he unequivocally stated Trump was 'practically and morally responsible' for the Capitol riot."
As GOP campaign consultant Scott Reed put it: "The GOP must focus on nominating candidates that can win in the fall of '22 and stop the Trump litmus test."
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