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Trump sends cease-and-desist letter to GOP organizations to stop fundraising off his name

Former president Donald Trump speaks at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Orlando last month. (Joe Skipper/Reuters)
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Former president Donald Trump has sent a cease-and-desist letter to at least three Republican organizations demanding they stop using his name and likeness to fundraise, two Trump advisers confirmed Saturday.

The letter, which was first reported by Politico, was sent to the Republican National Committee, the National Republican Congressional Committee and the National Republican Senatorial Committee. Representatives for the three groups did not immediately respond to requests for comment or for copies of the letter Saturday.

In his first public appearance since leaving office, former president Donald Trump further cemented his dominance over the Republican Party. (Video: Drea Cornejo/The Washington Post, Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)

It is unclear what Trump’s team would consider off-limits, though Politico noted the RNC on Friday sent two fundraising emails that asked those who considered themselves “President Trump’s most loyal SUPPORTERS” to virtually sign “the Official Trump ‘Thank You’ Card.”

The outlet also reported that Trump has been angry that those groups could use his name to support Republicans who voted to impeach him a second time. Ten Republican members of Congress voted to impeach Trump in the House, and seven Republican senators voted with Democrats to find the former president guilty of inciting the mob that overran the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

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Despite some minor dissent within the Republican Party, Trump continues to assert himself as its leader. At his appearance at the Conservative Political Action Conference last month, Trump said his “America First” movement was just getting started, and speaker after speaker affirmed him as the future of the party. A demand that the GOP’s largest fundraising groups not raise money off Trump’s name could complicate Republicans’ efforts to take back the White House, Senate and House, as Trump has promised they will.

Trump is no stranger to the cease-and-desist letter, having deployed strongly worded missives that threaten litigation in his business, campaign and presidency. In 2015, Trump’s campaign accused the conservative Club for Growth of running a defamatory ad against him and threatened a lawsuit if they didn’t stop airing it.

In 2018, Trump’s lawyers sent a cease-and-desist letter to his former chief strategist Stephen K. Bannon after Bannon was quoted in a Michael Wolff book describing a Trump Tower meeting as “treasonous” and “unpatriotic.” Legal action was “imminent,” his lawyers said then. Trump’s attorneys also sent a cease-and-desist letter to Wolff and his publisher, Steve Rubin, demanding that they halt publication and release of Wolff’s book, “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House.” (The effort was unsuccessful.)