Trump's former campaign manager Brad Parscale fell out of favor over the summer as Joe Biden built a massive lead in polling and the once flush with cash Trump campaign seemed to be going broke. But while the campaign was bleeding dry, Parscale was raking in and spending millions on boats, apartments, and luxury cars.
The Trumps don't mind a little grift, of course, because they're all grifters and rely on each other not to rock the boat or yacht, as it were. Parscale was only demoted after he promised a million people would show up to Trump's ill-fated rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma where his supporters did not even fill one arena. That rally ultimately led to the death of former GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain.
Now that he's in custody, Vanity Fair reports that people in Trumpworld are worried about what he might say. Parscale is allegedly under investigation for misuse of campaign funds; something the campaign is publicly denying. But they're worried about something.
Inside Trumpworld there’s a view that the past week is an inflection point in the campaign. It started on Sunday night with the bombshell New York Times report that Trump paid just $750 in federal income taxes in 2016 and 2017. “For Trump the Times story was worse than losing reelection,” said the second Republican. “If you had told Donald back in 2015 that his tax returns would be exposed and he’d have all these investigations, I guarantee you he wouldn’t have run.” [...]
Parscale’s public meltdown happened while he is reportedly under investigation for stealing from the Trump campaign and the RNC. According to the source close to the campaign, the Trump family is worried that Parscale could turn on them and cooperate with law enforcement about possible campaign finance violations. “The family is worried Brad will start talking,” the source said.
In response the Trump campaign’s communications director, Tim Murtaugh, said: “It’s utterly false. There is no investigation, no audit, and there never was.”
'What does Brad know' was a valid question even before the New York Times published their initial reports on Trump's tax returns and financial records.
Trump's campaign raised over $1 billion heading into the 2020 election year but the vast majority of those funds were gone before we even reached the summer. Trump is being out-spent by Joe Biden in some markets by a margin of 3 to 1 or even 5 to 1 because the campaign is virtually broke. That recently prompted Trump to say he might self-finance his campaign even though -- thanks to the New York Times -- we know he's not actually capable of doing that.
Where did all the money go? The majority of it was probably spent in stupid but not criminal ways, but I think it would naïve to assume all of it was spent legally. That's a lot of money to wave around people with no loyalty and no scruples. We haven't seen any specific accusations yet, but we may not learn what's really been going on until after the election.
Maybe it's not about what Parscale did as much as what the Trump family did.