Trump’s Guilty Verdict, Strong Polls Fire Up Republican Donors 

Major GOP donors said Thursday they were willing to support former President Donald Trump’s November presidential campaign despite Trump becoming the first “convicted felon” to run for the highest office. According to about a dozen fundraisers and benefactors, at least one donor gave funds to Trump for the first time.

Several conservative donors already viewed the Manhattan criminal case as political persecution, echoing the GOP presidential candidate’s claim that Dems are attempting to weaken him before the November 5 election rematch against incumbent President Joe Biden. 

Prosecutors have dismissed the claims as untrue. A NYC jury found Trump guilty Thursday of falsifying documents to cover up a payment meant to silence porn star Stormy Daniels before the 2016 election.

The verdict has sparked some donors to boost their financial support of the former president — and at least in one case, donate to Trump for the first time.

Former Trump ambassador to Jamaica, Don Tapia, said he and a small network of friends and family he donates with planned to donate about $250,000 to this election to support Trump.

Following Thursday’s conviction, Tapia told Reuters the group would aim to donate over $1 million to MAGA Inc., the pro-Trump spending group, in the coming weeks. 

“We’re going to go all-in for him,” Tapia said. According to Reuters, Tapia sent a photo of an American flag flying upside down outside his Paradise Valley, Arizona, residence to protest the verdict.

Shaun Maguire, a Silicon Valley tech investor, posted on social media site X following the verdict that he had donated $300,000 to support Trump.

“I believe our justice system is being weaponized against him,” Maguire said. Maguire described himself as a former supporter of Hillary Clinton, who switched to supporting Trump in 2021, Biden’s chaotic Afghanistan withdrawal. According to Maguire, he hasn’t previously donated to Trump.

One of the former president’s leading supporters, Robert Bigelow, who has given over $9 million to an outside group supporting him, said the verdict had no impact on him. “All of the charges are contrived,” said Bigelow.

Interviews show the depth of former President Trump’s donor support despite his legal difficulties, suggesting he will retain substantial financial firepower against Joe Biden, including from Wall Street, the oil, and tech sectors.

Donors positive about Trump winning the White House in November

Donors interviewed by Reuters were also widely upbeat about Trump’s victory in November based on several public opinion polls that put Donald Trump ahead against Biden in some battleground states.

“I think that big donors are paying attention to the polls, not the verdict,” said Dan Eberhart, oil businessman and Trump donor who also fundraises for the former president’s campaign. “The polls are motivating this latest round of businessmen,” added Eberhart, saying calls from donors had “considerably” picked up.

After beginning with a fundraising disadvantage against Joe Biden, in April, Trump raised more than his Democratic rival, boosted by fundraising efforts countrywide. Numerous donors, including casino billionaire Miriam Adelson, recently pledged to support Trump.

Andy Sabin, GOP donor, and metals businessman, says he supports Trump and stated, “I haven’t met one donor yet that gives a shit about the trial. No matter how much they hate Trump, they think he’s getting screwed,” said Sabin, who is donating to congressional candidates and regularly attends fundraisers.

Sabin believes Trump can win the election “as long as he keeps his mouth shut.”

Outside of his lengthy court appearances, Trump has hit the campaign fundraising trail hard, hosting events from New York to Texas. Next month, he’s scheduled to host three fundraisers in California, including one in far-left San Francisco hosted by tech venture capitalists.

“Every event that I’m involved with is exceeding budget,” said Trump campaign fundraiser and former ambassador to Portugal, George Glass. “Most donors feel like the ‘fix’ is in,” said Glass about legal machinations targeting Trump.