DeSantis 'Sharpening His Knives' as Jan. 6 Hearings Dent Trump: GOP Donor

The continued hearings of the House select committee investigating January 6 are leaving some GOP donors exhausted with former President Donald Trump.

Speaking with Politico, several top Republican operatives, including donors and activists, spoke about the effect the hearings are having on Trump's viability going forward. While they noted that the former president remains popular with certain voters who view the hearings as insubstantial, many other party operatives are becoming fatigued by the drama, even as they have not yet written off Trump completely.

"Trump is facing an important onslaught of negative facts with these hearings and there is no real defense," GOP donor Dan Eberhart told Politico. "He has no friendly members on the committee and there aren't facts to put in front of the public to make any of this sound less bad."

Eberhart went on to observe that the damage being done to Trump's viability as a 2024 candidate will be a benefit to his presumed Republican primary rival, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.

Ron DeSantis.
GOP donors and activists are reportedly growing fatigued by Donald Trump's continuing January 6 troubles, lending potential 2024 strength to Florida's Ron DeSantis. Above, a shot of DeSantis at an event in Miami. Getty

"Ron DeSantis is lying in wait sharpening his knives," the donor added.

Those close to the DeSantis camp also spoke about the situation with Politico. One adviser to the governor, speaking on the promise of anonymity, said that the select committee findings are not viewed as a "nail in the coffin" for Trump's reelection prospects, but rather another useful distraction that will make his candidacy less appealing to high-level GOP operatives. Some recent head-to-head polls of Republican activists have even begun to show DeSantis leading the GOP pack in 2024, surpassing Trump.

For the time being, however, those close to the governor emphasized to Politico that he remains focused on his 2022 gubernatorial reelection bid, where he is set to face off against a yet-determined Democratic opponent, with primary voting set to take place on August 23. Notably, he has not sought Trump's endorsement in the race, signaling a continued rift between the potential 2024 rivals.

Newsweek reached out to Trump's office for comment.

On Sunday, left-wing pundit and attorney Ron Filipkowski noted several things signaling a rift between the two. In a tweet, he wrote that the governor has not come out in support of the former president against the House select committee, and has not yet started an official account on Truth Social, the beleaguered social media platform that Trump founded after being banned from Twitter.