By Fredreka Schouten
Four Republican lawmakers who voted to impeach or convict former President Donald Trump over his role in the January 6 attack on the US Capitol outraised the candidates he has endorsed to oust them, new campaign filings show.
Republican Reps. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, Jaime Herrera Beutler of Washington and Fred Upton of Michigan drew Trump’s condemnation for their impeachment votes in his January trial in the House. All three collected more money in the third fundraising quarter than their Trump-endorsed rivals, according to reports filed Friday with the Federal Election Commission.
And Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski, one of seven Senate Republicans who voted to convict Trump in February, raised nearly $1.1 million in the July-to-September quarter, more than twice the $465,945 collected by Kelly Tshibaka, who Trump endorsed earlier this year. Murkowski is the only one among the seven Republicans who voted to convict the former President who is up for reelection in 2022.
In addition, Murkowski ended September with more than $3.2 million in cash reserves — more than 10 times the amount Tshibaka had remaining in her campaign account.
Trump has loomed large over his party, even out of office. And some Republicans have worried that his aggressive role in nomination battles — along with his demands that GOP officeholders back up his false claims about the 2020 election — could muddle efforts to win control of Congress in next year’s midterm elections.
Republicans need to flip only one seat in the Senate and five in the House to seize the majority.
Top target, top fundraiser
In the House, Cheney, who serves as vice chairwoman of a committee investigating the January 6 riot, is among the top targets for Trump, who has called her a “warmonger” and “disloyal.” She was ousted from her position as House GOP conference chair earlier this year over her opposition to the former President.
Despite that, Cheney topped the fundraising among the 10 House Republicans who backed Trump’s impeachment, bringing in $1.7 million, new filings show. It marked the second-largest fundraising quarter of Cheney’s House career.
Her Trump-endorsed opponent, attorney Harriet Hageman, joined the race on September 9 and raised nearly $302,000 in the three weeks before the books closed on the quarter, or a pace of about $100,000 a week.
Hageman would need to increase that pace to match the fundraising strength of Cheney — who has consistently topped seven figures in quarterly fundraising this year. Cheney ended September with more than $3.6 million in the bank to Hageman’s $245,000.
The Cheney-Hageman race is shaping up as a key proxy fight between Trump and the traditional establishment Republican world from which Cheney hails and a high-profile test of Trump’s ability to purge his critics from power.
Former President George W. Bush is slated to attend a fundraiser Monday in Texas for Cheney, the daughter of his Vice President Dick Cheney. Utah Sen. Mitt Romney, a former Republican presidential nominee, and his wife Ann were among the donors to her fundraising committees in the third quarter.
Other contributors to Cheney’s political operation in the quarter included several prominent Democratic donors, such as Hollywood mogul Jeffrey Katzenberg, and a political action committee run by former Trump national security adviser John Bolton, who has become a vocal critic of the former President.
In announcing the third-quarter haul in the Casper Star-Tribune earlier this week, Cheney campaign adviser Amy Edmonds said the three-term congresswoman is receiving “historic levels of support because she is upholding her oath to the Constitution.”
Hageman’s contributors include Maggie Scarlett, who was a co-chair of Cheney’s 2014 Senate campaign; billionaire tech investor Peter Thiel, who was an early backer of Trump’s presidential ambitions; and Lynn Friess, the widow of Foster Friess, who was a major GOP contributor.
“We know that Liz Cheney will have more money than she can spend, raised by Washington, D.C. and Northern Virginia special interests, establishment politicians, and Democrats who find her to be a useful tool,” Hageman said in a statement.
In Washington, meanwhile, Herrera Buetler raised $523,591, surpassing the $452,132 collected by Joe Kent, a US Army veteran endorsed last month by Trump.
And in Michigan, Upton raised $292,943 in the third quarter, topping the $115,585 collected by Steve Carra, a Michigan state lawmaker also endorsed by Trump in September.
Upton is considering retirement after more than three decades in office. He has said he will decide his political future based on what his southwest Michigan seat looks like after redistricting, rather than Trump’s actions in the race.
“We’ll have the resources to win. I’m not worried,” Upton told CNN in September.
Carra told CNN earlier this week that he now anticipates raising more in the fourth quarter with Trump’s support than in the third.
“Fundraising certainly has picked up after his endorsement,” he said. “I will have raised about the same amount in Q3 as I did in Q2, but a large portion of that would be after his endorsement came.”
One House Republican who voted to impeach the former President, Ohio Rep. Anthony Gonzalez, announced last month that he would not seek reelection as he faced a tough primary challenge.
Max Miller, the Republican endorsed by Trump to take on Gonzalez, brought in more $695,000 during the third quarter, $500,000 of which came in the form a personal loan from Miller.
Trump has not yet endorsed challengers to six other House Republicans who voted for his impeachment.
Chris Mathys — a pro-Trump challenger to one of those lawmakers, California Rep. David Valadao — hopes that changes soon. He told CNN this week that he’s “actively pursuing” a meeting with Trump to secure his support.
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CNN’s Alex Rogers and David Wright contributed to this story.