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Ultra-Wealthy Republican Donors Rally Behind Trump in the Wake of Conviction

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Following the historic trial and criminal conviction of former US President Donald Trump, ultra-wealthy Republican donors are rallying behind him to bolster his electoral bid.

Trump, the Republican candidate for the upcoming White House election, was found guilty of falsifying business records to conceal hush money paid to former adult film star Stormy Daniels. Despite lagging behind Joe Biden and the Democrats in fundraising efforts, the conviction injected new life into his electoral bid. His campaign announced that it raised nearly $53m (£41.6m) in just 24 hours after the verdict.

Israeli-American casino billionaire Miriam Adelson is expected to announce a multi-million dollar boost to Trump’s campaign this week, with the donation likely to exceed the $90m contribution by Mrs. Adelson and her late husband, Sheldon, ahead of the 2020 election. Moreover, a number of other wealthy billionaires have expressed their support for Trump, with some planning significant fundraising events.

Silicon Valley investor David Sacks, for example, posted a message of support for Trump and is planning to host a fundraiser in San Francisco, where attendees are reportedly being asked to contribute as much as $300,000. Additionally, hedge fund manager Bill Ackman is expected to make an announcement about supporting Trump despite his previous criticism. Similarly, Blackstone Group CEO Steve Schwarzman, who had previously distanced himself from the ex-president, announced his support for Trump in the election.

Other prominent billionaires who have thrown their support behind Trump include hedge fund founders John Paulson and Robert Mercer, as well as fracking pioneer Harold Hamm and casino mogul Steve Wynn. Even those who had expressed reservations about supporting Trump in the past, such as billionaire investor Nelson Peltz, have had a change of heart and have shown their support for the former president.

However, not all prominent figures in the business and tech community are aligning themselves with Trump. Elon Musk has stated that he will not be donating to either candidate this electoral cycle, although he plans to host a live-streamed town-hall-style event with Trump. Similarly, billionaire tech financier and prominent Republican donor Peter Thiel has reportedly turned down requests to donate to the Trump campaign and is not planning any contributions this electoral cycle.

Despite Trump’s recent fundraising success, the Biden campaign has largely surpassed the Trump campaign in terms of fundraising, with a record $192m cash-on-hand by the end of April compared to the Trump campaign’s $93.1m. However, experts suggest that money may not be determinative in the outcome of the election, as the primary role of money in a campaign is to increase name recognition.

A review of data from CBS, the BBC’s US partner, has found that Trump’s fundraising tends to enjoy a boost during key moments in his various legal battles, indicating that his supporters are willing to provide financial backing when he faces legal challenges.

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