Former president Donald Trump has been trying, unsuccessfully, to block unauthorized use of his name, image, and likeness, especially in campaign fundraising communications, according to recent reports.
Because legally he’s considered a “public figure,” the practice will also be difficult to stop, an attorney with expertise in that area of law told The Epoch Times.
But candidates who’ve used Trump’s name or image without permission could face “ugly” legal challenges for other reasons, according to Florida attorney Jeff Childers, a specialist in commercial and business law.
Donors could claim fraud if a supposed Trump connection prompted their giving, he said.
Trump’s efforts to stop others from cashing in on his name made headlines on July 4 over a legal tussle with Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich. Brnovich is running for U.S. Senate in the hopes of unseating incumbent Sen. Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.).
An attorney for Trump’s political action committee, Save America, sent Brnovich a cease-and-desist letter rebuking the campaign’s penchant for mentioning Trump in fundraising communications, The Washington Post reported on July 4.
The letter threatened legal action if Brnovich did not stop using Trump’s image and name in “misleading ways,” the newspaper reported.
The news outlet noted an example where the PAC lawyer referred to a recent email from the Brnovich campaign with the subject line “Account Termination Notice.”
The email told recipients they’d lose the “chance of continuing to receive our Trump polls, Trump rally alerts, and 2024 endorsement opportunities” if they didn’t donate to Brnovich’s Senate campaign.
“Your use of President Trump’s name, image, and/or likeness is likely to deceive individuals into believing [former] president Trump supports, endorses, or otherwise promotes your candidacy for U.S. Senate in Arizona—he does not,” the attorney wrote in the letter to Brnovich, according to the report.
In June, Trump endorsed Brnovich’s top opponent, Blake Masters, one of five Republicans on the ballot for the Aug. 2 primary.
The winner will advance to face Kelly on Nov. 8.