Home Top News Trump leadership PAC spends nearly $3M in January on legal expenses, FEC filing shows

Trump leadership PAC spends nearly $3M in January on legal expenses, FEC filing shows


Former President Trump’s leadership PAC spent another $2.9 million on legal bills last month, according to a campaign finance filing Tuesday. 

The leadership PAC, Save America, spent about $50 on Trump’s legal expenses last year, Politico reported. Save America received another $5 million from the pro-Trump super PAC MAGA Inc., according to Tuesday’s filing with the Federal Elections Committee (FEC). 

The money went to covering Save America’s $2.9 million in legal spending in January – less than the leadership PAC has spent on legal bills in recent months, though the amount still accounted for most of Save America’s spending. At the end of January, Save America said it had $6.3 million left in the bank. 

MAGA Inc. sent $42 million to Save America last year to help cover legal expenses. 

Trump’s web of political committees spent more than they raised collectively last year, according to Politico. 

Over the last two years, Trump’s Save America political action committee, his presidential campaign and his other fundraising organizations have devoted $76.7 million to legal fees, according to the Associated Press, and campaign finance experts expect the current GOP front-runner to spend PAC money to defray the cost of his judgments in some way. 

After spending more money on ads and legal expenses than it received from donors, Trump’s campaign cash holdings dropped to just over $30 million at the end of January – down from about $33 million in December, the campaign’s FEC filing shows, according to Reuters. But last month, he did successfully sweep GOP primary contests in Iowa and New Hampshire. 

The Trump campaign said it spent more than $11 million and raised more than $8 million in January. As the Democratic incumbent faces a less competitive primary contest, the Biden campaign reported in its FEC disclosure that it ended January with about $56 million in cash – an increase from the $46 million in December. 

Trump’s legal expenses might now exceed half a billion dollars, according to the AP. 

New York Judge Arthur Engoron ordered Trump and his companies Friday to pay $355 million in fines, plus interest, after ruling that he had manipulated his net worth in financial statements in a case brought by New York Attorney General Letitia James. 

The stiff penalty comes just weeks after Trump was ordered to pay $83.3 million to the columnist E. Jean Carroll for damaging her reputation after she accused him of sexual assault and defamation. A separate jury last year awarded Carroll $5 million from Trump for sexual abuse and defamation.

Trump has adamantly denied wrongdoing and pledged to appeal, a process that could take months or even years.

Between Friday’s ruling and the two judgments in Carroll’s case, Trump would be on the hook for about $542 million in legal judgments.

Trump owes another $110,000 for refusing to comply with a subpoena in the civil fraud case and $15,000 for repeatedly disparaging the judge’s law clerk in violation of a gag order. As part of Friday’s ruling, the judge also ordered both of Trump’s adult sons to pay $4 million apiece.

Trump’s court-ordered debts don’t end there. Last month, he was ordered to pay nearly $400,000 in legal fees to The New York Times after suing the newspaper unsuccessfully. He is currently appealing a judgment of $938,000 against him and his attorney for filing what a judge described as a ‘frivolous’ lawsuit against Hillary Clinton.

Though it is not uncommon for the size of judgments, particularly high-dollar amounts, to be reduced on appeal, Trump has already deposited $5 million owed to Carroll for the first defamation case into a court-controlled account, along with an additional $500,000 in interest required by New York law. Carroll will not have access to the funds until the appeals process plays out.

Trump may soon be forced to do the same for the $83.3 million judgment in the second Carroll case. Alternatively, he could secure a bond and pay only a portion up front — though that option would come with interest and fees and likely require some form of collateral. Trump would have to find a financial institution willing to front him the money.

In the civil fraud case, it will be up to the courts to decide how much Trump must put up as he mounts his appeal. He may be required to pay the full sum immediately after the appellate court rules, which could come as soon as this summer, University of Michigan law professor Will Thomas told the AP. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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