Donald Trump’s post-2020 election donation money may be frozen as Special Counsel Jack Smith continues to scrutinize his fundraising efforts. Former FBI general counsel Andrew Weissmann has been reacting to reports that Smith’s office are still questioning people in connection to the money raised by Trump’s Save America political action committee after he lost the last presidential election. Smith’s office interviewed Bernard Kerik, a former New York City police commissioner and longtime associate of former Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani, about the Save America PAC fundraising efforts.
Weissmann said that if Trump’s fundraising finances do become a part of Smith’s federal probe, it could lead to “pretrial forfeiture,” which would result in the money being frozen and unable to be accessed. This could cause a particular problem for the former president, as tens of millions of dollars given to his PAC were reportedly spent on his and other Trump-linked defendants’ legal fees this year. There could be other funds that are available, but if they are obtained by fraud, the government would have to prove that—you can get pretrial seizure orders. If this is where they’re going, there doesn’t have to be a charge against Donald Trump.
It can be against the PAC itself or lower level people and still have both civil and criminal forfeiture. Trump has been charged and pleaded not guilty to four charges in connection to Smith’s federal investigation into attempts to overturn the 2020 election and the events which led up to the January 6 attack. It has long been believed that federal prosecutors have been probing the millions of dollars Trump’s team raised in the wake of the 2020 election and looking into allegations the former president defrauded his supporters by asking for money to fight the election results in the courts, despite knowing that Joe Biden won fairly.