Trump’s War Chest Takes Major Hit

Donald Trump’s mounting legal fees cost his political action committees over $50 million in 2023, leaving the leadership PAC that once held $100 million in its war chest with a scant $5.1 million on hand at the start of the presidential election year, ABC News reported.

According to the latest FEC filings, as Trump’s legal problems heated up in the second half of 2023, so too did his PAC’s spending on legal fees, with his PACs reporting a total of $34 million in legal expenses in the second half of 2023 compared to about $26 million in the first half.

Save America, Trump’s leadership PAC, continued to bear the brunt of legal expenditures, spending nearly $26 million in the second half of 2023 while raising only $6 million. The PAC entered 2024 with only $5.1 million cash on hand.

Meanwhile, Make America Great Again PAC, the former 2020 presidential campaign committee, coughed up $4.1 million in legal expenditures in the second half of 2023.

The super PAC supporting Trump’s 2024 presidential campaign, Make America Great Again Inc., received $60 million from Save America in 2022 at the time Save America was sitting on a massive war chest. But last year, Make America Great Again Inc. was forced to refund over $42 million to Save America when the leadership PAC depleted its cash on hand.

In the second half of 2023, Save America paid $11 million to the attorneys representing Trump in the New York civil fraud case.

Save America also paid $2.5 million to the defense attorney representing Trump in the federal election interference case in Washington. It also paid $1.5 million to the attorney representing Trump in Fulton County and another $2 million to criminal defense attorney Todd Blanche who is representing Trump in the Manhattan hush money case.

Despite costing Trump $83.3 million in E. Jean Carroll’s second defamation trial, attorney Alina Habba’s firm was paid $2.3 million through Trump’s leadership PAC.

Trump’s joint fundraising committee, which divides donations 90-10 between Trump’s 2024 campaign and Save America PAC, reported raising $75 million in the second half of 2023. However, the committee spent $28 million on campaign merchandise, fundraising, and other operating expenses, leaving it with just $50 million.

The Trump campaign, meanwhile, reported raising only $19 million in the final quarter of 2023, down from the $25 million it raised in the third quarter.