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Saturday, July 20, 2024

Trump’s legal expenses are leaving him and his campaign short of cash. Good news for justice

Call it good old fashioned karma coming 'round. Call it what the criminally-indicted fraud deserves.

As former federal prosecutor and now legal podcaster Glenn Kirchner likes to say: “Justice Matters” and he most of facing justice is hitting tight-fisted billionaire and disgraced former president Donald Trump right where it hurts: His wallet.

Reports The New York Times:

Donald J. Trump’s legal problems aren’t just piling up — his legal bills are, too.

New financial reports show that the former president’s various political committees and the super PAC backing him have used roughly 30 cents of every dollar spent so far this year on legal-related costs. The total amounts to more than $27 million in legal fees and other investigation-related bills in the first six months of 2023, according to a New York Times analysis of federal records.

That $27 million in legal costs includes Mr. Trump paying at least eight law firms more than $1 million each in the first half of 2023, part of a sizable set of legal billings expected to spiral upward in the coming months as his overlapping criminal cases wind their way toward courtrooms in New York, Florida and Washington, D.C.

The new disclosures revealed the remarkable degree to which Mr. Trump’s political and legal cash are intermingled, much like his own political and legal fate.

Mr. Trump’s complex political orbit is already spending more than it is taking in, and tapping into money it raised years ago — an unusual trajectory this far out from an election. And the burn rate raises questions about whether such an approach is untenable, or whether Mr. Trump will eventually need to dip into his own fortune to pay for his lawyers, his 2024 campaign or both.

–The New York Times

About damn time. When Trump announced his preposterous campaign for president in the 2016 election, he claimed that he, as a rich billionaire, would not need or take contributions from anyone.

“I don’t need anybody’s money. It’s nice. I don’t need anybody’s money,” Trump said on June 16, 2015. “I’m using my own money. I’m not using the lobbyists. I’m not using donors. I don’t care. I’m really rich.”

Really? The Center for Public Integrity reports:

Trump’s actions have betrayed the promises he uttered at the outset of his presidential journey that now seems so very long ago.

As 2015 bled into 2016, and Trump solidified his standing atop the Republican presidential field, his campaign began soliciting contributions ahead of a general election showdown with Democrat Hillary Clinton and her massive political fundraising machine. In all, Trump would raise about $339 million.

And while Trump’s campaign initially disavowed super PACs purporting to support Trump — especially those incorporating Trump’s name or “Make America Great Again” sloganeering — that pushback evaporated as Election Day crept closer. Super PACs and politically active nonprofits ultimately bolstered Trump with tens of millions of dollars in fresh support.

And Trump’s pursuit of contributions for his 2020 re-election campaign began soon after he won the presidency.

–Center for Public Integrity

Investigations by media outlets and now the Department of Justice says Trump begs for joney and then spends much of what he gets for personal expenditures and his mounting legal expenses. It this sounds famiiar, let’s remember that he was forced by authrorities to shut down his foundation because spend his donations to a single charity named Donald Trump.

The New York Times report continues:

The political committees that Mr. Trump directly controls, along with the independently operated super PAC devoted exclusively to helping him, are spending more than they raised so far in 2023 — largely because of his legal expenditures, the filings show.

Those entities brought in $67.2 million in new donations in the first half of the year and spent about $90 million in the same period. Most of the money that went to legal fees did not come from new donations, the records show. Save America, the PAC doing the bulk of the legal spending, raised much of its funds in the aftermath of the 2020 election and plunged $16 million into legal expenses in 2022. It’s nearly been bled dry.

Across the broader Trump sphere, the signs of fiscal strain are showing.

In one unusual transaction, Mr. Trump’s Save America PAC asked for a refund on the $60 million it had transferred last year to the super PAC, Make America Great Again Inc., that was expected to chiefly pay for television ads. Already, $12.25 million has been returned to the account that mostly pays for legal bills. In another move, Mr. Trump began redirecting more of every dollar raised into that same account.

Investigations involving Mr. Trump are ongoing, including into his fund-raising in the wake of the 2020 election, which was when most of Save America PAC’s funds were collected. Mr. Smith, the special counsel who brought charges last week against Mr. Trump related to his attempts to overturn the 2020 election, has also focused on whether Mr. Trump’s advisers knew he lost but solicited money from supporters anyway to fight baseless claims of widespread fraud.

For the first time since he won the Republican nomination seven years ago, Mr. Trump has also spoken seriously in recent days about the possibility of putting his own money into his race. His team has already implemented some cost controls, slowing the pace of expensive rallies, which can cost more than $300,000 per event.

–New York Times

Looks like his con is running thin, just like his wallet. Good. He won’t need money in prison. That’s when justice matters.

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