President Donald Trump is running for re-election.
On January 20th–before he even placed his hand on the Bible to take the oath of office–Trump submitted a letter to the Federal Elections Commission that states, in its entirety:
“While this does not constitute a formal announcement of my candidacy for the 2020 election, because I have reached the legal threshold for filing FEC Form 2, please accept this letter as my Form 2 for the 2020 election in order to ensure compliance with the Federal Election Campaign Act. See 52 U.S.C. �30102(e)(1); 11 C.F.R. �100.3(a)(1).”
To be fair, the message admits it does “not constitute a formal announcement.” However, according to Snopes:
“The move appears to be geared toward getting a fundraising head start, as legal experts agree that Trump becoming a de facto candidate for 2020 on his first day in office will have no effect on the activities of charities.”
In other words, “formal announcement or not,” Trump is acknowledging his position to accept campaign contributions, and just as he did during the 2016 campaign, he is going to exploit an election law loophole to enrich himself through his businesses.
According to Addicting Info:
“Federal election law requires any candidate who uses their own business for campaign purposes to reimburse said business for the market value of the goods or services used. Generally, this winds up being a whole one to two percent of total campaign expenditures. As of June 2016, Trump’s expenditures at his own properties was more than $6 million, or 10 percent of his total campaign expenditures..By the Nov. 8 election, that amount was over $14 million.”
To those tempted to respond with the knee-jerk reaction that “Obama did it too.”
Obama stopped fundraising for some time after his 2008 victory. Trump did not. No sooner was he elected when he and the Republican National Committee (RNC) began fundraising for 2020. So far, that fundraising has generated more than $42 million. Moreover, Trump refuses to divest himself from his businesses, which means some of that money could be personally benefiting him.
Featured image from YouTube video.