In the five weeks after the Biden-won election, per an NBC News analysis released on Wednesday, those charged in the riot increased their political donations “by about 75 percent” when compared with the five weeks preceding the election. Many of these people are said to have made few, if any, donations in prior years.
Of the first 311 people facing charges in connection with the riot, an estimated 90 of them have some history of political donations. The majority of those contributions, tellingly, were made to Trump and/or related groups, with the bulk occurring within the past year.
One key example of this detailed in Allan Smith’s report revolves around the donations of James Uptmore, who—alongside his son Chance—was named by federal prosecutors as being among those who stormed the Capitol in January.
The 63-year-old from Texas is said to have made five contributions to Trump and related groups on Nov. 15 after only making a single Trump PAC donation between the former Apprentice host’s original presidential run and the 2020 election against Biden. Just days later, Uptmore made another four donations, followed one more day later by another batch of four donations. In December, amid Trump still urging Republican leaders to fight the election results, Uptmore—who ultimately made nearly 40 donations to Trump and related groups after the election defeat—made six more contributions.
All told, Trump—who infamously urged donations as part of a campaign to convince supporters he had lost the election due to nefarious practices—is estimated to have raised more than $207 million in the 19-day period after the presidential election.
The Capitol riot left five people dead and more than 140 others injured. Recently, Trump was formally served with a lawsuit in connection with the riot. In February, the NAACP announced a federal suit against Trump—as well as Rudy Giuliani, Proud Boys, and Oath Keepers—had been filed by the civil rights organization and the law firm Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll.
“[Trump’s] gleeful support of violent white supremacists led to a breach of the Capitol that put my life, and that of my colleagues, in grave danger,” Congressman Bennie Thompson (D-MS), who’s represented by the NAACP in the suit, said last month. “It is by the slimmest of luck that the outcome was not deadlier. While the majority of Republicans in the Senate abdicated their responsibility to hold the President accountable, we must hold him accountable for the insurrection that he so blatantly planned.”
As a reminder, Biden won the 2020 presidential election, notably breaking an Obama-held record by landing more than 81 million votes nationwide.