Donald Trump's Legal Fees Deplete Campaign Funds as Trials Mount

Trump's legal woes have depleted his campaign funds, putting him at a financial disadvantage against Biden. The unprecedented scale of Trump's legal challenges raises concerns about the future of campaign finance in US politics.

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Shivani Chauhan
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Donald Trump's Legal Fees Deplete Campaign Funds as Trials Mount

Donald Trump's Legal Fees Deplete Campaign Funds as Trials Mount

Former President Donald Trump spent nearly $5 million on legal fees in March 2024, with only $6.8 million remaining in his accounts designated for lawyer payments, according to campaign finance filings reported by Bloomberg.

Trump's mounting legal woes have set him apart from any previous candidate for the presidency, as he faces three separate trials and four more prosecutions, including allegations of conspiring to overturn the 2020 presidential election.

Trump has been paying for his legal defense primarily through his Save America leadership PAC, which has spent over $62 million on legal fees since January 2023. However, Save America ended March with about $4 million cash on hand, raising concerns about its ability to continue financing Trump's legal battles. Trump's allied super PAC, Make America Great Again Inc., raised $14 million and spent $6.3 million, but campaign finance laws bar that group from directly funding Trump's legal bills.

Why this matters: Trump's ongoing legal battles continue to deplete his campaign coffers, putting him at a financial disadvantage compared to President Joe Biden and the Democratic Party. The unprecedented nature and scale of Trump's legal challenges as a presidential candidate raise questions about the impact on his re-election bid and the future of campaign finance in American politics.

The Republican National Committee has made it clear that it will not be directly funding Trump's legal bills. In March, the RNC reported its best fundraising month but has already spent half of that money, leaving the party with only $21 million cash on hand, less than half of the $45 million reported to be in the Democratic National Committee's coffers.

Meanwhile, President Biden's campaign brought in over $90 million in March and had a historic $192 million cash on hand. Biden's campaign manager stated that their fundraising is focused on building a winning operation, while "Trump's campaign is funneling limited and billionaire-reliant funds to pay off his various legal fees."

Trump's legal troubles have also kept him off the campaign trail, as his required attendance in court for the "hush money" case against him in Manhattan has limited his ability to hold rallies and fundraising events. The former president has claimed he cannot afford a $350 million appeal bond from his New York court case, leading to increased fundraising efforts to cover his legal expenses.

Key Takeaways

  • Trump spent $5M on legal fees in March 2024, with $6.8M remaining.
  • Trump's Save America PAC has spent $62M on legal fees since Jan 2023.
  • Trump's legal battles have depleted his campaign coffers, putting him at a financial disadvantage.
  • The RNC has refused to fund Trump's legal bills, while Biden's campaign has $192M cash on hand.
  • Trump's legal troubles have limited his ability to campaign, leading to increased fundraising efforts.