Former President Donald Trump’s legal woes could extend into his campaign finances amid reports that his post-2020 election donation funds could be frozen. If so, it would deal a blow to both Trump’s 2024 presidential run and his legal defense against federal indictments.
The issue of Trump’s fundraising finances has been a topic of ongoing investigations by Special Counsel Jack Smith, who is questioning people in connection to the money raised by Trump’s Save America political action committee after he lost the 2020 presidential election. Former FBI general counsel Andrew Weissmann said that if Trump’s fundraising finances become part of Smith’s federal investigation, it could lead to “pretrial forfeiture,” which would result in the money being frozen. Tens of millions of dollars given to Trump’s PAC were reportedly spent on his and other Trump-linked defendants’ legal fees this year.
It is unclear exactly where frozen campaign and election donation funds go, but if federal authorities freeze the funds, Trump and his team won’t be able to access them. Much of the money donated to Trump’s Save America PAC has been used to pay his legal bills.
The PAC had more than $100 million at the beginning of last year, but that figure has dwindled down to about $3.6 million in cash on hand after it became the vehicle used to pay millions of dollars in legal bills for the former president, his aides, and his associates. It’s not unusual for PACs and similar funds to raise more money than they need to finance campaigns, and leftover money can be transferred to other candidates’ races, political parties, PACs, charities, and even potential recounts. If candidates plan to run for office again, they can use leftover funds for another campaign.