El Paso gearing up to collect $570K debt from Trump campaign for 2019 rally

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EL PASO, Texas (KXAN/KTSM) — The City of El Paso is preparing to make legal moves to collect a nearly $570,000 bill owed by the campaign for President Donald Trump for a 2019 rally held in the city.

El Paso City Attorney says this doesn’t necessarily mean that a lawsuit will be filed, but various methods will be used to collect the debt.

That debt stems back to February 2019, when Trump held a rally at the El Paso County Coliseum. The event, according to The Texas Tribune, cost the city $470,000 in security and other expenses. The debt has since incurred $99,000 in late fees.

“We are all seeing firsthand the struggles that everyday El Paso families have, in addition to the challenges that we have in our own budget,” City Rep. Peter Svarzbein said in a Tuesday meeting. “So this amount of money is not inconsequential and also the message that we send that nobody is above the law is also an important one for our community to understand as well.”

On Monday, the El Paso City Council approved the hiring of outside counsel Snapper L. Carr. The city said that taxpayers will not be affected by the Carr hiring, which is on contingency — meaning he’ll only be paid if the debt is collected.

El Paso previously considered suing, the Tribune reports, but decided not to for reasons that have not been explained.

Meanwhile, the Trump campaign continues collecting money from supporters for an “election defense fund,” as it continues to contest results of the 2020 Presidential Election. In the weeks since Joe Biden was announced as the winner, the Trump Administration has advanced still unproven — and disproven — rumors and theories about voter fraud.

The Associated Press reports that fine print in the fund indicates that large portions of the money are authorized to pay down campaign debts.

As of Wednesday morning, Trump still has not conceded, tweeting, “2020 is a long way from over!”

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