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Donald Trump Diverting Campaign Money To Cover His Mounting Legal Fees

Donald Trump has been diverting money from his 2024 presidential campaign to a political action committee that is paying for his personal legal fees.

For more than a year before Trump announced his 2024 candidacy, his political action committee, Save America, had been paying bills related to investigations into the former president and his allies; in 2022, the PAC spent $122 million on behalf of the former president.

When Trump announced his candidacy in November, he declared that every dollar raised online would be split, with 99 cents going to his campaign and a penny going to Save America.

In February or March, however, the campaign’s share was reduced to 90% of donations, and the PAC was given 10%. This change came amid troubling legal times for the former president, who was officially indicted earlier this month on 37 counts for mishandling classified documents after his time in the White House.

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By the beginning of 2023, the PAC was down to $18 million. More than $16 million had been spent on Trump’s legal bills.

Save America has been able to give Trump some financial buoyancy. Small donors have been paying his legal expenses and have given at least $1.5 million to the PAC since the spring.

The rules that govern political action committees are somewhat murky, though Trump’s fellow Republican candidates have not been spending their money in the same manner as the former president. The websites of former Vice President Mike Pence, former Ambassador Nikki Haley, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-Florida), former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Sen. Tim Scott (R-South Carolina) state that all proceeds are directed to their campaign committees.

Trump, however, is known for using his personal woes to boost his campaign. He has already produced t-shirts showing the date of his Florida indictment and is selling them in his campaign store for $38.

The former president is particularly dependent on online fundraising, as he has only held one major fundraiser so far: the event at Bedminster, New Jersey, on the evening of his Florida arraignment. He raised $2 million.

Ava Lombardi

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