WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump's re-election campaign and his Republican Party raised more than $60 million in January, against the backdrop of impeachment that threatened Trump's presidency.
The Democratic-led House of Representatives impeached Trump on Dec. 18, making him only the third president in history to have that mark on his legacy. But the lower chamber then waited until mid-January to send the articles of impeachment to the Senate for a trial on whether to remove him from office. The Senate acquitted him on Feb. 5.
"The Democrats' shameful impeachment hoax and dumpster fire primary process have only contributed" to the financial support for Trump's re-election, Brad Parscale, the president's campaign manager, said in a statement, apparently referring to last week's Iowa caucus debacle.
The campaign, fundraising committees, and the Republican National Committee brought in a $60.6 million last month and now have more than $200 million in cash on hand, according to the campaign.
Campaigns spend millions of dollars to buy television advertising, pay staff and cover the other expenses that it takes to win the White House.
The current top dog in the pack of candidates seeking the Democratic nomination, U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, raised $25 million in January, the best single month in his campaign.
The website Open Secrets found that Trump's campaign committee and outside groups had raised $232.09 million as of Feb. 3, based on Federal Elections Commission data.
It said the Sanders campaign has nearly $108 million.
The only possible challengers to Trump on the Democratic side with close to his amount of backing - Michael Bloomberg and Tom Steyer - are billionaires putting their own funds into their runs. Steyer's campaign committee has $205.38 million, with no outside funds, and Bloomberg's committee has $200.36 million with no outside funds, according to the site.
The campaign of former Vice President Joe Biden, who was at the center of the impeachment controversy, had only $59.55 million in January. Trump was impeached in part for asking Ukraine's president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, to announce an investigation into Biden and his son Hunter. Zelenskiy did not do so.
(Reporting by Lisa Lambert; editing by Jonathan Oatis)