Trump Legal Fees Threaten to Cause Cash Crunch by July

Donald Trump is likely to face a cash crunch this summer as his presidential campaign ramps up for an expected rematch with President Joe Biden. Trump spent $51.2 million in 2023 on legal expenses and can tap another $23.5 million, most of it stashed in an allied super political action committee. As his four criminal cases ramp up, those funds are expected to run out at a critical time around July, when the Republican National Convention triggers the official start to the general election campaign.

Trump has only a few unappealing options to keep paying for his defense: compel the Republican National Committee to pay his bills, leaving the group with less money to support his campaign, or siphon off more money from his army of small-dollar donors to his leadership PAC, Save America, which is financing his defense in multiple criminal and civil proceedings.

To pay his legal fees, Trump is relying on federal laws governing leadership PACs, which allow politicians to raise money that can support travel, fundraising, and other political expenses. Save America has largely been able to pay for tens of millions of dollars in legal fees because of refunds of money it had previously transferred to Make America Great Again Inc., the super PAC supporting Trump’s bid.

The RNC, which previously covered some of Trump’s legal bills during and after his first term, could also fund his trial costs, though it would drain cash that otherwise would be used to win elections. The RNC is better-equipped to bring in large amounts of money, compared to Save America, which can only accept donations as big as $5,000.

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