Trump's PAC Spends Nearly $60 Million on Legal Fees Amid Criminal Trials

Trump's PAC spends $60M on legal fees as he faces criminal trial, draining funds for 2024 bid and trailing Biden in fundraising, but polls show tight race.

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Geeta Pillai
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Trump's PAC Spends Nearly $60 Million on Legal Fees Amid Criminal Trials

Trump's PAC Spends Nearly $60 Million on Legal Fees Amid Criminal Trials

Former President Donald Trump's political action committee, Save America, has spent nearly $60 million on legal fees since January 2023, with $3.7 million in March alone, as the former president faces a criminal hush money trial in New York and dwindling funds. Trump's campaign and outside political groups have paid more than $66 million in legal-related costs since early 2023, which translates to about $145,000 a day.

The legal fees are mounting as Trump prepares for his first criminal trial in New York. The trial, which began with the selection of 12 jurors and 6 alternates, has already seen dramatic moments, including a man setting himself on fire outside the courthouse. The trial is expected to last for weeks and feature testimony from key witnesses like Michael Cohen and Stormy Daniels.

Why this matters: The significant legal expenses are draining the finances supporting Trump's bid for the White House in 2024, as he faces multiple criminal trials and trails President Joe Biden in fundraising. The outcome of the trials could have major implications for Trump's political future and the 2024 presidential race.

Save America, which gets most of its money from another Trump-affiliated account, Make America Great Again Inc., spent about $5 million and took in about $5 million in contributions in March. The PAC had about $4.1 million in cash on hand at the end of March and owed about $886,000 in unpaid legal fees. Additionally, the MAGA PAC spent about $2.3 million between January and March, ending the quarter with about $43,000 on hand.

Trump's campaign raised $15 million in March, up from $11 million in February, but still lags behind Biden's campaign, which raised over $43 million in March. While Trump's small-donor fundraising appears to have slowed, he has held events to court major donors, helping the Republican Party raise over $20 million in March.

Despite the financial challenges, opinion polls show a tight race between Trump and Biden for the 2024 presidential election. Trump has maintained a defiant stance, with his team aiming to convince the American people that the charges against him are a sham to harm his electoral odds. "The central allegation is that Trump falsified business records to conceal reimbursing his former lawyer for a payment to adult film actress Stormy Daniels prior to the 2016 election," according to the trial's focus.

Key Takeaways

  • Trump's PAC has spent $60M on legal fees since Jan 2023, $3.7M in March.
  • Trump faces criminal trial in NY over hush money payment to Stormy Daniels.
  • Legal costs are draining Trump's 2024 campaign funds as he trails Biden in fundraising.
  • Trump's MAGA PAC had $43K on hand after spending $2.3M in Q1 2023.
  • Despite financial challenges, polls show tight race between Trump and Biden for 2024.