NBC News is reporting that, only weeks after the formation of the House Select Committee to Investigate the Jan. 6 Attack on the United States Capitol, Donald Trump's "Save America" PAC donated a whopping $1 million to a conservative training "institute" headed in part by former Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows—a man who was intimately involved with multiple parts of Trump's attempts to overturn the 2020 election. What makes the donation especially conspicuous is that it's orders of magnitude above the Trump PAC's usual gifts.
The Trump PAC distributed a total of $1.35 million in the last half of 2021, reports NBC News. And that single $1 million donation to Meadows' group accounted for the lion's share of it.
It should be immediately clarified that this is not Donald Trump's own money. Trump's fascist-premised "Save America" fundraisers have been sucking the money out of Trump supporters' pockets just as every other Trump grift has, providing a means for Trump to give financial rewards to party allies without having to write any of the checks himself.
And Donald Trump is not known for writing checks himself. It is said that the reason Trump's fingers are so short is that whenever anyone comes to him asking him to write a check, the man bites his own fingers off so that nobody can make him pick up the pen. After the unpleasant visitor goes away, a team of surgeons reattaches each finger—always with a bit of loss, shrinking each digit by a few millimeters or so—and the cycle repeats. Or something. It is only a rumor I heard.
Trump's sudden shove of $1 million to Meadows is notable for its large size, even as the rest of his PAC spends its days trickling out money only a few thousand dollars at a time, but also because it has been clear from the beginning that Mark Meadows knows more about the Trump White House's attempts at self-coup than perhaps any other person, Trump included. Meadows participated in the call to Georgia election officials in which Trump asked them to "find" enough Trump votes to overturn Joe Biden's victory in the state. Meadows was involved in discussions about taking pseudo-military action to erase or "redo" the election. Meadows was involved in Trump's efforts to gather a crowd of his most rabid public supporters and set them loose to "march" to the U.S. Capitol at the precise day and hour that a joint session of Congress would oversee the final constitutional acknowledgement of his loss.
Mark Meadows is, in other words, up to his ex-House-Republican eyebrows in a multipronged plan to overthrow the United States government, and Trump throwing a million bucks his way just after it became clear that House Republicans had not been able to halt the investigation of Jan. 6 and that Congress would be making an effort to haul Meadows' aiding and abetting ass into a hearing room, a donation absurdly out of scope of what the Trump PAC was doing before and since, can certainly be taken as a distribution of hush money.
And that might be an untoward accusation to make if Donald Trump had not already been caught red-handed handing out similar "hush money" in the past. And it's difficult to find examples of Trump spending money anywhere, at any time, that hasn't been directly linked to what the recipient has personally done for or said about Trump. We can be sure that Trump's PAC did not throw $1 million at Mark Meadows because Donald Trump—sincerely and urgently—believes in the "Conservative Partnership Institute" goal of training new conservative staffers for future generations. Donald Trump doesn't give a flying damn about anything that does not provide immediate and tangible benefit to Donald Trump.
So sure, maybe it's hush money. Maybe it's witness tampering with a big ol' check attached. One way to determine what the money is for is to watch how Meadows' group spends it. If it turns out the "institute" is suddenly spending $1 million or so on unexplained legal fees, as Meadows' own battles with the Jan. 6 committee heat up, well then golly gee won't that be something.
But it ain't gonna be spent on anything that Donald Trump did not personally want it spent on.