Every day, I tell myself it’s time to move on from obsessing on the depraved Trump chapter in U.S. political history. But I keep getting dragged back in (or maybe I just find excuses to jump back in).
Today’s excuse is to pass along a story that ran over the weekend in New York Times and elsewhere. Just when we thought we couldn’t be shocked by such things, we learn that the Trump 2020 campaign organization bilked his own supporters out of tens of millions of dollars by getting them to unwittingly authorize regular withdrawals from their bank accounts and credit cards when the donors – again, I repeat, Trump’s own supporters – had meant to make a single finite contribution.
Read the whole Times piece. It should make your blood boil. But until you have time for that, here’s a quick overview:
The Trump campaign sent out an online fund-raising request that enabled willing donors to authorize a donation to be debited from their bank or credit card accounts.
But, unless they were incredibly thorough and read the hidden terms of the agreement, they were authorizing not only regular monthly contributions of the same amount but even – this is beyond Snidely Whiplash stuff – for the amount of the original unintended recurring donation to be doubled after a while. And in September, “monthly” changed to “weekly.”
Some of those who discovered the ripoff have been able to get their money back, which is good. I assume some lawyer helped design this fraud in a way that avoids criminal penalties for those who perpetrated it. But someone should go to prison for a fraud this bold and despicable.