That Enemy – Lawyer Bills: Donald Trump’s primary fundraising and political spending group, Save America PAC, has expended more than $40 million on legal fees this year alone. The expenditure marks a significant increase compared to the combined spending on legal costs in 2021 and 2022.
As the ex-President faces multiple legal battles, the costs associated with his defense are expected to continue rising. He is awaiting federal and state trials over various allegations, including mishandling classified documents, a hush-money probe in New York, and a defamation trial.
Moreover, the U.S. Department of Justice has just charged Trump and state prosecutors in Georgia are anticipated to press charges over allegations Trump attempted to overturn the 2020 election.
PAC Donations Have Soared
Save America PAC, a political action committee founded and controlled by Trump, has been funding legal representation for the former president and his allies involved in the investigations against him. The PAC is primarily financed by grassroots Trump supporters, who contribute small-dollar donations.
Trump’s relentless efforts to challenge the 2020 election results and his claim of a stolen election resulted in substantial donations to Save America PAC. Last year, the PAC amassed over $100 million in donations, with a significant portion directed toward legal fees and personal expenses. However, his campaign and supporters failed to provide evidence of widespread election fraud.
Accusations of Overspending
The allocation of donations has raised concerns about potential violations of federal election laws. Campaign finance experts argue that accepting donations directly to cover Trump’s legal expenses may exceed federal contribution limits.
Steven Cheung, a spokesman for the former president, told the Washington Post that the PAC is footing the bill of legal fees for current and former Trump employees in order to “protect these innocent people from financial ruin and prevent their lives from being completely destroyed” by what he described as “unlawful harassment” from the investigations.
Donald Trump Surges Ahead in GOP Polls
Despite mounting legal challenges, national opinion polls indicate Trump is leading the Republican nomination race for the 2024 presidential campaign. Nevertheless, some of his opponents have criticized the hefty expenditures on legal fees, accusing Trump of focusing on personal interests rather than defeating Democratic incumbent Joe Biden. Still, there is no guarantee he would win a third Presidential bid, with polling published recently suggesting he and Biden are neck and neck in voters’ estimations.
While pro-Trump Ohio Senator JD Vance has defended the PAC’s move, claiming that innocent individuals also received financial assistance, there is evidence that the escalating fees are straining Trump’s political operation.
Save America PAC reportedly requested a refund on a $60 million contribution made to another pro-Trump group, though the status of the refund remains unclear.
As the legal battles intensify and more indictments are expected, the need for funds to cover legal costs will likely continue to rise exponentially. Despite the potential challenges ahead, Trump remains a dominant force in the 2024 presidential race.
Georgia Gilholy is a journalist based in the United Kingdom who has been published in Newsweek, The Times of Israel, and the Spectator. Gilholy writes about international politics, culture, and education.