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Report Predicts Trump Will Likely Run Out of Legal Defense Funds By Summer

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Source: Adam Glanzman/Bloomberg

Former President Donald Trump is facing a potential cash crunch for legal fees this summer, just as his presidential campaign gears up for a rematch with President Joe Biden. Trump, who spent $51.2 million on legal expenses in 2023, still has access to another $23.5 million, primarily stored in an allied super PAC.

However, with ongoing criminal cases, these funds are expected to run dry around July, coinciding with the Republican National Convention and the official start of the general election campaign.

This leaves Trump with limited options to finance his defense. One possibility is compelling the financially strained Republican National Committee (RNC) to cover his legal bills, potentially diverting resources away from supporting his campaign. Alternatively, Trump could increase allocations from his leadership PAC, Save America, which already channels 10% of online donations towards legal expenses, totaling $9.9 million in 2023.

Trump’s reliance on federal laws governing leadership PACs allows him to raise funds for various political expenses, including legal fees. However, these expenses have weighed on his overall fundraising efforts. In 2023, his campaign and affiliated groups collectively spent $13.6 million more than they raised, depleting a fundraising buffer built up in previous years.

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Save America has shouldered significant legal costs due to refunds from Make America Great Again Inc., a super PAC supporting Trump. MAGA Inc. redirected a substantial portion of its funds towards Trump’s legal defense, supporting his campaign and attacking rivals.

The super PAC’s financial support primarily comes from deep-pocketed donors like Timothy Mellon, Timothy Dunn, and Bernie Marcus. While MAGA Inc. can refund $17.8 million more to Save America, it is constrained by transfer limits. Additionally, Trump retains $5.7 million in his leadership PACs.

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Chris LaCivita, a senior adviser to the Trump campaign, emphasized their mission to maximize resources for Trump’s reelection. However, both MAGA Inc. and the RNC declined to comment on their financial strategies.

The RNC, which has previously covered some of Trump’s legal bills, remains another potential funding source. However, allocating funds towards Trump’s legal defense could impact its ability to support Republican candidates in upcoming elections.

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Trump’s financial challenges coincide with ongoing efforts to boost Republican candidates nationwide. The RNC, already lagging in fundraising compared to the Democratic National Committee, faces added pressure to navigate these financial constraints while supporting Trump’s reelection bid.

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Trump’s dissatisfaction with fundraising at the RNC has led to recommendations for leadership changes, including endorsing Michael Whatley and Lara Trump to lead the national party. These moves could further solidify Trump’s influence within the RNC, potentially shaping its financial priorities moving forward.


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