Trump lures GOP senators on impeachment with cold cash

Source: Politico | October 31, 2019 | Alex Isenstadt

The president is tapping his vast donor network to buck up lawmakers whose support he badly needs — but who also need him.

President Donald Trump is rewarding senators who have his back on impeachment — and sending a message to those who don’t to get on board.

Trump is tapping his vast fundraising network for a handful of loyal senators facing tough reelection bids in 2020. Each of them has signed onto a Republican-backed resolution condemning the inquiry as “unprecedented and undemocratic.”

Conspicuously absent from the group is Maine Sen. Susan Collins, a politically vulnerable Republican who’s refused to support the resolution and avoided taking a stance on impeachment. With his new push, Trump is exerting leverage over a group he badly needs in his corner with an impeachment trial likely coming soon to the Senate — but that also needs him.

Republican senators on the ballot next year are lagging in fundraising, stoking uncertainty about the GOP’s hold on the chamber, and could use the fundraising might of the president. Trump’s political operation has raked in over $300 million this year.

On Wednesday, the Trump reelection campaign sent a fundraising appeal to its massive email list urging donors to provide a contribution that would be divided between the president and Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner, Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst, and North Carolina Sen. Thom Tillis. Each of the senators are supporting the anti-impeachment resolution despite being endangered in 2020.

“If we don’t post strong fundraising numbers,” the message warned, “we won’t be able to defend the President from this baseless Impeachment WITCH HUNT.”

Next week, Trump will lend a hand to Georgia Sen. David Perdue, a staunch ally who has also spoken out against impeachment. On Nov. 8, the president will host an Atlanta fundraising lunch that will jointly benefit his campaign, the Republican National Committee, and Perdue’s reelection effort. Attendees are being asked to give up to $100,000, according to an invitation obtained by POLITICO.

Trump is also set to appear next week at a reception for Senate Leadership Fund, a super PAC closely aligned with Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and party leadership.

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