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Trump's guilty verdict isn't scaring off his donors

Geoff Weiss   

Trump's guilty verdict isn't scaring off his donors
  • Prominent business leaders doubled down on their support for Trump after his conviction.
  • Some called the trial unfair, and others felt the guilty verdict would backfire.

Former President Donald Trump's conviction Thursday of falsifying business records hasn't dissuaded high-profile supporters in the world of business — some of whom are newly energized by the historic verdict.

In a post Thursday on X, the venture capitalist Shaun Maguire expressed his support for Trump, saying "the timing isn't a coincidence" as he announced a $300,000 donation to the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.

"Bluntly, that's part of why I'm supporting him," Maguire, a partner at Sequoia Capital, wrote on X about Trump's conviction case. "I believe our justice system is being weaponized against him."

He wasn't the only prominent business leader who seemed fired up.

The tech investor David Sacks, who Bloomberg reported was in talks to hold a Trump campaign fundraiser at his San Francisco home, denounced the guilty verdict on X.

"A sham trial designed for one purpose: to brand Donald Trump as a 'felon,'" Sacks wrote Thursday on X. "Watch Dems and the MSM endlessly repeat that word."

Omeed Malik, an investor with 1789 Capital and Farvahar Partners, told CNBC he thought the verdict would "completely backfire" and bolster support for the convicted candidate. Malik cohosted a fundraiser for Trump this month that raised over $10 million, CNBC reported.

Maguire, Sacks, and Malik did not immediately respond to requests for comment from Business Insider.

Prominent VCs weren't the only ones circling their wagons.

The Trump campaign said it raised a record $34.8 million from small-dollar donors after the verdict, while the National Republican Senatorial Committee also hit a fundraising high of $360,000 on Thursday.

Even billionaires who haven't announced their support for Trump were quick to lambast the proceedings.

Amid reports that Pershing Square CEO Bill Ackman is leaning toward endorsing Trump, the billionaire wrote on X on Thursday that he agreed with Gov. Ron DeSantis' assessment of the trial; DeSantis called it "the culmination of a legal process that has been bent to the political will of the actors involved."

Ackman didn't immediately respond to questions from BI about the report that he may back Trump.

Elon Musk, too, said the proceedings had caused "great damage" to the public's faith in America's legal system."

"If a former President can be criminally convicted over such a trivial matter — motivated by politics, rather than justice — then anyone is at risk of a similar fate," Musk wrote on X.

Musk is said to be under consideration for an advisory role in Trump's White House, The Wall Street Journal reported, though the two have had a bumpy relationship in the past.

Musk has denied that he's in talks to work with Trump.

Correction: May 31, 2024 — An earlier version of this story misstated when Omeed Malik cohosted a fundraiser for Trump. It was this month, not last month.

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