Trump's PAC Drains Funds on Legal Battles, Risks Financial Shortfall

New fundraising strategies emerge for Trump and the RNC

by Zain ul Abedin
Trump's PAC Drains Funds on Legal Battles, Risks Financial Shortfall
© Pool/Getty Images

Save America, a leadership PAC orchestrated by former President Donald Trump is facing a financial dilemma as it continues to channel millions into legal defences for Trump and his affiliates. According to a recent Federal Election Commission report, the PAC spent nearly $3.7 million on legal fees in March alone, contributing to a staggering total of $59.5 million in legal consulting expenses since the beginning of 2023.

Additionally, it accrued $886,000 in new legal debt during the same period. In a stark comparison, more than $1.1 million of March’s expenditures were directed towards two law firms representing Trump in his high-profile New York criminal hush money trial.

This financial commitment nearly matched the spending of Trump’s own campaign committee, which disbursed just over $3.7 million primarily on travel and payroll. This is a mere fraction of the more than $29 million spent by President Joe Biden’s campaign in the same month, bolstered by a significant advertising push.

Despite these daunting expenditures, Save America managed to remain solvent in March, thanks to a $5 million refund from Make America Great Again Inc., a super PAC supporting Trump. This transfer is part of a consistent pattern that started last July, with MAGA Inc.

funneling $5 million monthly to the leadership PAC. Initially, Save America had provided MAGA Inc. with a hefty $60 million before Trump declared his candidacy, but now only $2.75 million can be transferred back, posing significant questions about the PAC’s future financial strategies for handling legal costs.

RNC's Fundraising Shift

By the end of March, Save America reported having just over $4 million in cash reserves. Although it can still solicit donations, recent trends suggest a pivot in Trump’s fundraising strategy.

Starting in April, fundraising efforts have predominantly been funneled through a new entity, the Trump National Committee, which benefits only his campaign and the Republican National Committee. The Republican National Committee itself reported a robust fundraising month in March, collecting $20 million.

However, it spent half of this amount, ending the month with $21 million on hand, less than half of the $45 million reported by the Democratic National Committee. Among the notable contributors to MAGA Inc. were Linda McMahon, former WWE CEO and head of the Small Business Administration under Trump, who donated $5 million, and Nevada real estate magnate Robert Bigelow, who contributed over $4 million.

However, most of these funds are earmarked for specific uses and cannot be redirected to Save America, due to limitations on what MAGA Inc. can transfer back to the leadership PAC based on previous financial arrangements.