That’s the numbers The Washington Post has figured out…
(Can we send the bill to Trump in Florida?)
President Donald Trump’s onslaught of falsehoods about the November election misled millions of Americans, undermined faith in the electoral system, sparked a deadly riot — and has now left taxpayers with a large, and growing, bill.
The total so far: $519 million.
The costs have mounted daily as government agencies at all levels have been forced to devote public funds to respond to actions taken by Trump and his supporters, according to a Washington Post review of local, state and federal spending records, as well as interviews with government officials. The expenditures include legal fees prompted by dozens of fruitless lawsuits, enhanced security in response to death threats against poll workers, and costly repairs needed after the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol. That attack triggered the expensive massing of thousands of National Guard troops on the streets of Washington amid fears of additional extremist violence.
Although more than $480 million of the total is attributable to the military’s estimated expenses for the troop deployment through mid-March, the financial impact of the president’s refusal to concede the election is probably much higher than what has been documented thus far, and the true costs may never be known.
Many officials contacted by The Post said they were still trying to tally the cost of rapidly scaling up security to deal with the increased threat of violence from Trump supporters. Others have given up on trying to calculate their costs — perplexed over how to calculate the financial impact of a president’s injecting so much instability into the democratic system — opting instead to simply absorb them as the cost of doing business in the Trump era.
Costs identified by The Washington Post related to election misinformation
|Costs associated with Jan. 6 insurrection and inauguration||At least $488,800,000|
|State costs associated with Jan. 6 and inauguration-related security||At least $28,310,464|
|State costs related to legal challenges and security for election officials||At least $2,217,905|
|Subtotal||At least $519,328,369|
Some officials have shifted their attention to making plans for additional security measures going forward in the threatening environment fostered by Trump’s conspiratorial brand of politics.
“I think anytime you see an event like we saw on January 6th, it changes your perspective going forward. You don’t take things for granted like we used to,” said Michael Rapich, superintendent of the Utah Highway Patrol, which spent $227,000 on Jan. 17 to deploy 300 troopers to the state’s Capitol after threats of an armed siege by Trump supporters ahead of the inauguration of President Biden. “It is an incredible amount of money to spend.”….