Trump is facing new debt collectors — and they're coming from El Paso

Trump is facing new debt collectors — and they're coming from El Paso
President Donald J. Trump waves as he boards Air Force One at Joint Base Andrews, Md. Wednesday morning, Aug. 7, 2019, as President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump prepare begin their trip to visit Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso, Texas. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

When President Donald Trump held a MAGA rally in El Paso in February 2019, it cost the West Texas city more than half a million dollars — and almost two years later, according to KTSM-TV (an NBC affiliate in El Paso), the city government is still trying to get Team Trump to cover those expenses.

KTSM's Taniana Favela reports that El Paso City Councilman Peter Svarzbein, on Tuesday, said, "We all are seeing firsthand the struggles that everyday El Paso families have, in addition to the challenges that we have in our own budget. 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."

El Paso is a Democrat-leaning city in a light red state that Trump carried by 6% in the 2020 presidential election. Although Texas on the whole leans Republican, its largest urban centers — including Houston, Austin and Dallas — lean Democrat. Nonetheless, Trump chose blue El Paso for a rally in February 2019. And that visit and event, according to KTSM, cost the city a total of $569,204.63.

This week, the El Paso City Council, including Svarzbein, unanimously voted in favor of hiring outside legal counsel — attorney Snapper L. Carr's law office — in an effort to get that money from the Trump campaign. But Karla Nieman, city attorney for El Paso, acknowledged that after the 2020 presidential election, Trump's reelection campaign is "likely to face a large amount of debt." And according to Nieman, the City of El Paso might not sue Trump's campaign — although Nieman didn't rule out the possibility.

The Texas Tribune quoted Nieman as saying, "It does not necessarily mean that the City will be filing a lawsuit, but that we will be using various methods to attempt to collect the debt owed to the City of El Paso."

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