Washington Examiner

Trump using more PAC donations to cover increasing legal expenses.

Former President Donald Trump Shifts Funds to Pay Personal Legal Fees

Former President Donald Trump has made a strategic move with the funds raised for his 2024 presidential campaign. He has redirected a significant portion of these funds into a political action committee (PAC) specifically created to cover his personal legal expenses.

Initially, when Trump launched his campaign in November, only 1% of online donations went to the Save America PAC, while the remaining 99% was allocated to his campaign. However, in February, Trump adjusted the split, with 90% of donations now going to the campaign and 10% to Save America, according to the New York Times.

“Because the campaign wants to ensure every dollar donated to President Trump is spent in the most cost-effective manner,” explained Trump spokesman Steven Cheung in response to inquiries about the diverted funds.

Save America PAC possesses a valuable asset: a comprehensive list of email addresses and phone numbers belonging to Trump’s supporters. The campaign is essentially paying the PAC for access to this list, which is crucial for future political endeavors.

Cheung further clarified that a “fair market analysis” was conducted to determine that amending the fundraising split between the two entities would result in more efficient email list rentals.

These changes were not publicly announced and coincide with Trump’s preparation for multiple criminal trials. One trial pertains to allegations of mishandling classified documents, while the other involves hush money payments made to porn star Stormy Daniels during his 2016 presidential bid.

By shifting more funding to Save America, Trump has found a way for his small donors to indirectly contribute to his legal expenses. This strategy has already yielded significant results, with an estimated $1.5 million potentially diverted to Save America, according to the Times.

It is important to note that political action committees are typically unable to directly spend money on a candidate’s campaign. Similarly, campaign committees cannot directly cover personal expenses, such as legal fees.

Save America PAC’s Financial Situation

Prior to Trump’s official announcement of his 2024 campaign, Save America had been shouldering the costs related to investigations into Trump and his allies for over a year. A staggering $16 million from the PAC has been allocated to cover Trump’s legal fees.

As of February 2022, Save America had approximately $122 million in its coffers. However, by the beginning of 2023, the PAC’s cash on hand had decreased to $18 million. This decline can be attributed to various expenditures, including staff salaries, political activities, and a substantial $60 million transfer to MAGA Inc, a super PAC supporting Trump.

Overall, Trump’s decision to redirect funds to cover his personal legal fees has sparked both controversy and speculation about the financial strategies employed by political campaigns.

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