Donald Trump’s conviction isn’t scaring off voters — it’s spurring high-roller donors to flock to his cause

I can’t tell you if Donald Trump will spend a day in jail after a Manhattan jury’s guilty verdict in that absurd hush-money case. What I can report with a great degree of certainty is that Trump isn’t a guy acting particularly worried about the outcome; in fact, he thinks it’s going to propel him back into the White House.

That’s the read I’m getting from members of the billionaire and multimillionaire GOP donor class who were hanging with the former and possibly future president, now a convicted felon, at an Upper East Side residence just hours after the perversion of the justice system Thursday.

Former President Trump was found guilty of falsifying business records on Thursday. The Washington Post via Getty Images

Among the deep-pocketed group of about two dozen — some who were initially reluctant to support Trump for many reasons, including the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol Hill fiasco — were private equity honcho Steve Schwarzman; real estate titan Steve Witkoff; Jeff Sprecher, the CEO of the Intercontinental Exchange that controls the NYSE; his wife, the former Georgia Sen. Kelly Loeffler; NFL New York Jets owner Woody Johnson; Jacob Helberg of Palantir; John Catsimatidis, the supermarket and media entrepreneur; and hedge fund billionaire John Paulson.

They met at the behest of Pepe Fanjul, the South Florida real estate and sugar magnate who owns the swanky venue.

I am told that Trump, with his son Eric, arrived a little late (for obvious reasons) — not with a scowl but a smile. He began by cracking jokes to his guests about what just went down in that lower Manhattan courtroom and then got down to business about how he plans to reverse the corrosive elements of Bidenism when he gets re-elected.

All of this was discussed over a dinner of a ravioli appetizer and a choice of steak and fish. (Trump, a legendary meat eater, got the steak; I couldn’t determine if he doused it with his preferred condiment, ketchup.)

Biden’s open-borders fiasco took center stage. So did Trump’s potential VP pick, with a lot of people plugging former nemesis Nikki Haley. Then came the administration’s weak response to China’s military and economic threat; wokeism, where we have an administration that supports “transitioning” children; Biden’s seeming obliviousness to continued inflation that’s decimating the working class; and the rise of antisemitism on campuses and in public discourse thanks to the left wing of the Democratic Party that Sleepy Joe actively has supported for four years despite his reputation as a moderate.

Addressing the issues

Trump took it all in. People were said to be outraged how a lefty Manhattan district attorney can insert himself into a national election. Trump’s other legal issues were addressed and how some might end up before the Supreme Court.

He provided some Trumpian details on how he planned to address it all, which no one argued with given his prior record of peace and prosperity despite his crazy Truth Social feed.

Joe Biden’s age and mental acuity have become major concerns for supporters. The Washington Post via Getty Images

“We spoke for two hours,” said one attendee. “Everyone explained the need for Trump to win given the dangerous direction of the country under Biden and they said they were willing to do whatever to support him.”

The donors came (and pledged an estimated $30 million to Team Trump) because they not only see the case brought by leftist DA Alvin Bragg — 34 counts of practically nothing bootstrapped into a felony — as a politically motivated hatchet job, they view the other cases against Trump through the same political witch-hunt prism. They’re increasingly willing to fight back with their bank accounts.

Most of all, they fear the alternative: The hapless administration of Sleepy Joe Biden that is an existential threat to the nation.

Again, the people attending weren’t always on the Trump train. Schwarzman, a longtime GOP donor, was until recently a Trump skeptic following Jan. 6. As this column first predicted, antisemitism on campus, stoked by elements of the Democratic Party and Biden’s mere half-hearted support of Israel eradicating the Hamas maniacs after Oct. 7, has made Schwarzman a born-again Trumper.

He said as much at the dinner. So did the others who attended — to a person. They believe the DA’s case was a farce and the trial a sham: A noncrime over a porn-star hush-money payment brought by a defund-the-police, Soros-funded hack DA before a lefty judge — all to bring down the Democrats’ most hated target.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg is accused of pursuing a political witch hunt against Trump. REUTERS

They also really think that Biden has sold out to sinister and leftist elements of the party. He needs to go, along with his half-witted VP, Kamala Harris, who will likely finish out our barely sentient president’s term if he’s re-elected, given his fragile mental acuity.

Meanwhile, the former president is acting like he’s going to be the next president. The Bragg verdict has galvanized popular support and money is rolling in from donors large and small; an estimated $150 million will be raised in the coming days, the Trump campaign believes.

Even before the verdict, Trump was talking to his kitchen cabinet — a group of about a dozen people from the business and political worlds with whom he’s close   that goes beyond his casual chats with Elon Musk — not about what the food is like in jail, but who will help him run the government after he wins back the White House.

It was once thought that experienced people would run from Trump if he ran again because of the volatile nature of his presidency and his erratic behavior. And yes, Jan. 6.

Just the opposite is happening now. Four years of Sleepy Joe will do that.

Charles Gasparino is the author of the forthcoming book “Go Woke, Go Broke: The Inside Story on the Radicalization of Corporate America.”

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