Trump’s Political Group Spent Over $40 Million on Legal Costs

Donald Trump’s political action committee, Save America, spent more than $40 million this year on legal costs, according to an FEC filing expected to be released Monday. That number is the PAC’s largest expense, and is greater than the amount raised by the Trump campaign in the second quarter of this year.

The filing comes as the former president is dealing with a sprawling number of investigations and legal cases, including a federal indictment in Florida in the classified documents case and a state indictment in New York on illegal hush money charges, as first reported by The Washington Post. Trump is also set to be indicted in Georgia, where Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis has been investigating his attempt to overturn the 2020 election, and in Washington, D.C., where special prosecutor Jack Smith has been looking into his role in the January 6 insurrection.

The New York Times reported Saturday that the PAC’s cash crunch has gotten so dire that it requested a refund on a $60 million donation to another group supporting the former president, though it is unclear how much money was actually refunded.

Paul Seamus Ryan, a campaign finance expert, told the Post that the PAC’s spending didn’t necessarily raise any “legal red flags,” but that the filing did represent “an extraordinary sum of money.” “At the end of the day it’s up to the donors to decide if that’s the way they want their money spent,” he said. “My sense is if you’re giving money to Trump in 2023, you’re fine with it.”

Save America is reportedly footing the bills of just about anyone caught in the various Trump investigations who requests its help. Steven Cheung, a spokesman for the former president, said the PAC is trying “to protect these innocent people from financial ruin and prevent their lives from being completely destroyed.”

Trump’s latest indictment, unsealed Thursday, charges him and two aides, Waltine “Walt” Nauta and Carlos De Oliveira, in the Mar-a-Lago classified documents case. (Trump and Nauta were both previously indicted in the case in June.) The superseding indictment alleges that Nauta told another Trump employee that “someone just wants to make sure” that De Oliveira, who was recorded with Nauta moving boxes around Mar-a-Lago, was “good,” and that the employee responded was “loyal” and “would not do anything to affect his relationship with Trump.”

On that same day, according to the indictment, Trump told De Oliveira that he would get him a lawyer. 

Last week, Florida District Judge Aileen Cannon set the trial date in the classified documents case for May 2024.

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