According to a report from The Washington Post, lawyers for former President Donald Trump have reportedly sent a cease-and-desist letter to Arizona Senate candidate Mark Brnovich (R), ordering him to stop using Trump’s “name, image, and/or likeness” in his fundraising appeals, as the former president has endorsed one of his running mates.
Brnovich, who is currently serving as Arizona’s attorney general, has continued to use Trump’s image in fundraising appeals to Arizona voters despite the fact that the former president endorsed tech executive Blake Masters for the state’s Senate race in early June.
According to Federal Election Commission (FEC) records, Brnovich has raised more than $2.5 million during his campaign and has over $500,000 on hand.
“Your use of President Trump’s name, image, and/or likeness is likely to deceive individuals into believing President Trump supports, endorses, or otherwise promotes your candidacy for U.S. Senate in Arizona — he does not,” an attorney for Trump wrote in a letter to the Brnovich campaign, The Washington Post reported on Monday.
The cease-and-desist letter is especially noteworthy because Trump has repeatedly criticized the Arizona attorney general for his announcement following the 2020 election that he saw “no evidence” of voter fraud, and that “there are no facts that would lead anyone to believe that the election results will change.”
Responding to those comments, Trump described Brnovich as a “disappointment,” and stated in his endorsement of Masters that Brnovich “understands what took place in the 2020 Presidential Election, and that it was Rigged and Stolen.”
— Garret Lewis (@GarretLewis) June 2, 2022
While there are plenty of candidates that the former president has not endorsed who still use his name, image and likeness in their ad campaigns, Brnovich appears to be specifically targeted by Trump and his legal team because of his past actions that the former president disapproves of.
According to reporting from the Daily Caller, Trump is beginning to crack down on the use of his image. In March of 2021, the former president sent a cease-and-desist letter to the Republican National Committee (RNC) claiming that the organization did not have permission to use his name, image and likeness to fundraise.
The RNC refused to stop, with an attorney for the organization claiming that Trump is a public figure, and therefore the RNC may “refer to public figures as it engages in core, First Amendment-protected political speech.”