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Trump’s political action committees rack up nearly $29 million in legal bills in six months

By Fredreka Schouten and David Wright, CNN

(CNN) — Two of Donald Trump’s political action committees spent nearly $29 million combined on legal fees during the last six months of 2023, new filings show, underscoring the financial costs of the former president’s mounting legal troubles.

It’s an expense the front-runner for the GOP’s presidential nomination is having his political contributors share.

In all, Save America PAC and Make America Great Again PAC spent more than $50 million of contributors’ money on legal expenses last year, according to Federal Election Commission records. That spending has depleted the reserves of Save America, Trump’s once-flush leadership PAC. More than 70% of Save America’s spending during the last half of 2023 went toward legal costs, and it ended the year with about $5.1 million remaining in the bank.

A Trump campaign aide did not immediately respond Wednesday evening to CNN’s inquiry about the spending.

The New York Times first reported that the Trump PACs’ legal spending was expected to total roughly $50 million for the year.

The former president faces four separate criminal indictments, along with high-profile civil litigation.

Last week, a federal civil jury awarded former magazine columnist E. Jean Carroll $83.3 million against Trump as part of a defamation trial.

Meanwhile, a New York state judge is poised to decide how much money Trump and his co-defendants owe for fraud – after having previously ruled that the former president engaged in fraud in running his real estate and branding empire. The civil lawsuit brought by New York Attorney General Letitia James, a Democrat, is seeking $370 million from Trump and his co-defendants.

Even as he seeks a return to the White House, Trump has consistently diverted 10% of the money his campaign collects from political donors through a joint fundraising committee into Save America, the primary vehicle he has used to underwrite legal bills.

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Article Topic Follows: CNN - US Politics

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