Trump PACs Reportedly Spend $50M in Donor Funds on Legal Fees in 2023

Unprecedented Legal Costs Eclipse Political Norms in 2023.

by Nouman Rasool
Trump PACs Reportedly Spend $50M in Donor Funds on Legal Fees in 2023
© David Becker/Getty Images

Throughout 2023, former President Donald Trump found himself embroiled in a myriad of legal challenges, facing an unprecedented 91 felony charges across various jurisdictions, including several states and the District of Columbia.

This tumultuous period also saw him contending with a high-profile sexual assault and defamation case, adding to his already substantial legal woes. Amidst these escalating legal battles, a striking financial revelation emerged: two pro-Trump Political Action Committees (PACs), namely Save America and the Make America Great Again PAC, reportedly funneled a staggering $50 million into covering Trump's legal expenses in 2023.

This eye-opening expenditure was first brought to light in a report by The New York Times, disclosed just a day before Trump’s 2024 presidential campaign and affiliated PACs were due to submit their annual financial disclosures to the Federal Election Commission.

As of the time of the report's publication, these financial statements had not yet been filed. The report underscored a notable aspect of these expenditures: rather than being paid out of Trump's personal funds, the legal fees were predominantly covered by the two aforementioned PACs.

PAC Spending Surpasses Parties

The scale of this spending becomes even more apparent when considering a report from the Associated Press. As of October 2023, the Save America PAC had outspent the combined legal expenditures of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, Democratic National Committee, and Republican National Committee for that year.

Since his departure from the White House in January 2021, following a closely contested election loss to current President Joe Biden, Trump has been ensnared in a complex web of legal issues. These range from allegations relating to efforts to overturn the election results, to a sexual assault case and accompanying defamation suit, as well as accusations concerning the mishandling of classified documents.

Despite the substantial amounts reportedly spent by Trump-affiliated PACs on legal matters in 2023, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, a key legal figure in Trump's orbit, claimed in a recent bankruptcy court filing in New York that he has yet to receive full payment for his services.

Giuliani, who once held the position of Trump's attorney, reported a dramatic decrease in his monthly income, to just $2,308, and stated that he was still owed millions by his former client. As of August 2023, Giuliani had only received $340,000 in reimbursements from a Trump PAC.

These developments not only highlight the financial magnitude of Trump's legal challenges but also underscore the ongoing complexities surrounding his financial and legal affairs as he prepares for another presidential campaign.