A general view shows the House Select Committee hearing in session on Monday. (Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images)

The House select committee investigating Jan. 6 claimed on Monday that former President Donald Trump and his allies used millions of dollars raised under the guise of assisting with the campaign’s election challenges for unrelated political purposes.

The panel made the case that Trump’s false claims about voter fraud dovetailed with his campaign’s fundraising effort — resulting in $250 million being donated to what was called an “official election defense fund,” that did not exist.

“The ‘Big Lie’ was also a big rip-off,” Rep Zoe Lofgren, a Democrat from California, said during Monday’s hearing.

Instead, the committee claimed that most of the money raised went to the “Save America PAC,” which Trump created on Nov. 9 2020, less than a week after the election.

The PAC then made a series of large donations to a handful of other groups. More than $5 million went to Event Strategies Inc., the company that ran President Trump’s Jan. 6 rally on the ellipse that preceded the attack on the Capitol, according to the committee.

Also among the groups that received donations from Trump’s newly-created PAC was the Conservative Partnership Institute, a political organization led by former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows that the committee said received $1 million from the Save America PAC.

The committee also claimed that $1 million went to the America First Policy Institute, a conservative organization which employs several former Trump administration officials. More than $200,000 was also donated to the Trump Hotel Collection. 

The Trump team sent out as many as 25 fundraising emails a day, according to the committee’s financial investigator Amanda Wick. “They knew the claims were false,” said Wick during the video played during Monday’s hearing.

“I don’t believe there is actually a fund called the Election Defense Fund,” said Hannah Allred, a former Trump campaign staffer, in a video played during Monday’s hearing.

In that same video presentation, Gary Coby, a former Trump campaign digital director, responded “yes” when asked if the election defense fund was a marketing tactic. 

“Thirty minutes after the last fundraising email was sent, the Capitol was breached,” Lofgren said during Monday’s hearing.

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