Trump spends more than a quarter of his campaign donations on legal fees

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Trump spends more than a quarter of his campaign donations on legal fees

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Donald Trump’s donors have paid more than $76 million for his legal fees since January 2023, or about 26% of the total raised for the ex-president, the latest sign that his legal battles are draining money from his election campaign.

At the same time, political groups, including super political action committees (PACS), supporting Joe Biden, raised far more than pro-Trump groups – $413 million versus $326 million – according to the disclosures federal releases released this weekend.

The Biden groups have $188 million in cash, while the Trump groups have $122 million — a difference close to the amount the latter spent on legal advice.

“Donald Trump simply cannot keep up with Joe Biden: he is too lazy to campaign, too toxic to generate enthusiasm or popular support, and too obsessed with his own revenge and personal vendetta to expand his coalition,” said James Singer, a Biden campaign spokesman. “Open your eyes, Donald, the campaign has begun.”

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Trump, the first former president to face criminal charges, successfully rallied Republicans around him during the Republican Party primary. But his legal challenges pose a threat to his general election campaign finances.

Trump narrowly leads Biden in five key states — Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada and North Carolina — according to RealClearPolitics’ polling average — and is actually tied in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. But about half of Americans would consider Trump unfit for office if he were convicted of a crime, according to an Associated Press poll.

“They’re not after me, they’re after you,” Trump said on his campaign website. “I’m just in the way!”

Trump faces four criminal cases and a civil fraud case that threaten his business empire.

In the first criminal case, the Manhattan district attorney accused Trump of falsifying business records to conceal “hush money” payments to a porn star before the 2016 election. In the second, the special counsel of Justice Department Jack Smith accused Trump of allegedly mishandling classified documents, including information about U.S. nuclear programs. The third and fourth cases – one federal, one in Georgia – allege that Trump conspired to overturn the 2020 election. The former president has vigorously denied all criminal charges against him.

Trevor Traina, a Trump donor who served as the former president’s U.S. ambassador to Austria, told the Financial Times that the next fundraising report starting in April “will tell a very different story” and asserted that the inflation under Biden had hurt Trump’s working-class donors.

Biden was able to fundraise for many months from the Democratic National Committee, allowing him to raise more money per individual for his re-election, while Trump was only able to raise money from the Republican National Committee after securing enough delegates in March.

“Even though he was in the lead, Trump had to go through a primary,” Traina said. “Biden had the advantage of leading his party and its entire apparatus. »

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The prosecution of Trump helped him during the Republican presidential primary, as even his rivals came to his defense. Last year, Republican fundraising and support for Trump increased after the announcement of each of four criminal cases.

Trump received his largest influx of small donations on August 25, after he turned himself in to authorities in Atlanta on felony charges that he sought to overturn his 2020 election defeat in Georgia – and raised money through this photo d ‘identify.

But there are signs that Trump’s small army of dollars has dwindled; it has about 270,000 fewer unique donors at this point in the campaign compared to four years earlier.

The ex-president will also spend more time in court, just as he is expected to campaign against Biden ahead of the November election.

Jury selection recently began in the Manhattan financial silence case. On Tuesday, after hours in a dark room, Trump went to a small store in Harlem to rally against crime in the city.

“We’re doing better than ever,” Trump said of his trial. “I think it has a reverse effect.”

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