REPORT: Legal Fees Dominate Spending by Trump's PAC

AP Photo/Alex Brandon

Save America, the political action committee financing former President Trump’s 2024 presidential bid, spent over $40 million on legal fees in the first half of 2023. These expenses reflect the ballooning costs of defending the embattled former president as he faces a growing list of legal challenges.


The legal cases the former president faces are:

An indictment by the special counsel in Florida on 37 criminal counts related to allegedly retaining classified documents; see BREAKING: Donald Trump Announces Indictment in Documents Probe, Could Be Facing Multiple Charges.

An indictment by the Manhattan district attorney on 34 criminal counts related to pay alleged hush money payments to pornographic film actress Stormy Daniels; see REPORT: Trump Charged With 34 Felony Counts, Former President Hilariously Tells Bragg to Indict Himself and WATCH: DA Alvin Bragg Addresses Trump Arrest and Felony Charges.

Former President Trump received a target letter from the special counsel concerning his actions on January 6, indicating an indictment is probably forthcoming; see BREAKING: Donald Trump Confirms Receiving Target Letter From Jack Smith in January 6 Criminal Investigation.

Trump is facing civil action in New York, alleging that he defrauded investors in his companies by overvaluing the assets; see WATCH the Press Conference–Will New York Attorney General Letitia James Indict President Trump?

The former president is facing potential indictment as early as this week by a Fulton County, GA, grand jury on charges arising from his alleged attempt to convince Georgia officials to change the 2020 vote total to favor him; see Déjà Vu? Fulton County DA Set to Announce Criminal Charges Against Trump and Associates.


Even where the charges against Trump are contrived (Alvin Bragg Slowly Realizes His Trump Indictment Is Going to Backfire, and He’s Getting Desperate), he has to spend a lot of money protecting his interests until the case is closed. Should he prevail in all the cases, the final legal bill will dwarf the amount paid so far.

The Washington Post reports that the Federal Election Commission filing due Monday will show that Save America PAC spent $40.2 million on legal services. If true, this would indicate that his PAC spent over $4 million more than the $35 million it raised in Second Quarter 2023. The known legal expense of President Trump since he left office is about $56 million.

As a sign that more and larger legal expenses are on the way, the New York Times reports that former President Trump’s Save America PAC has asked his Make America Great Again super PAC to return $60 million in donations made to the super PAC by the PAC. We don’t yet know how much, if any, of the super PAC donations were returned.

The PAC was the entity in which Mr. Trump had parked the more than $100 million raised when he sought donations after losing the 2020 election. Mr. Trump claimed he needed the support to fight widespread fraud in the race. Officials, including some with his campaign, turned up no evidence of widespread fraud.

Mr. Trump used some of that $100 million for other politicians and political activities in 2022, but he also used it to pay more than $16 million in legal fees, most of them related to investigations into him, and at least $10 million of which was for his own personal fees.

The situation signals a potential money crisis as Mr. Trump runs a campaign while under indictment in two jurisdictions and, soon, potentially a third, while also paying the legal fees of a number of witnesses who are close to him or who work for him.


The legal difficulties present an enormous problem for former President Trump. When the Trump campaign kicked off in November, only one cent on every dollar contributed to the campaign went to Save America PAC. Since the first of the year, that amount has increased to ten cents on the dollar.


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