Trump’s political action committee spent $10m on his personal legal bills, report says

Donald Trump’s Save America political action committee spent about $10m on law firms representing him in private legal disputes in 2022, according to Federal Election Commission filings obtained by the New York Times.

The legal fees went towards Mr Trump’s battles with the writer E. Jean Carroll, who has accused him of sexual assault, his former attorney Michael Cohen, and for a tax fraud civil case that ended with 17 convictions for the Trump Organization in December.

A total of $16m from Mr Trump’s PAC went towards his legal expenses in 2021 and 2022.

The spending amounted to about 20 per cent of Save America’s total expenditures that were not payments to other political candidates, according to the Times.

Most of the legal expenses were paid out prior to Mr Trump declaring his candidacy for the 2024 presidential election in November.

Campaign finance experts told the Times that there should be legal limits on the amount that his PAC can spend on private legal bills now that he is running for president.

Meanwhile, Mr Trump’s legal woes continue to mount.

Department of Justice special prosecutor Jack Smith last week subpoenaed former Vice President Mike Pence and Chief of Staff Mark Meadows as part of his probe into Mr Trump’s actions during the January 6 Capitol riots.

And a Georgia grand jury investigating Mr Trump’s pressure campaign to overturn the 2020 election results has recommended multiple indictments, according to reports.

Mr Trump’s Save America PAC was formed in late 2020 and raised nearly $72m in two years while promising to fight for election integrity.

Donald Trump spent $10m in donations to a political action committee on his personal legal fees (Associated Press)
Donald Trump spent $10m in donations to a political action committee on his personal legal fees (Associated Press)

He still has $18m in cash on hand, according to the FEC filings.

The Times noted that the largest single expenditure from the Save America PAC was the $3m that went to the law firm Critton, Luttier and Coleman, that represented the Mr Trump and the Trump Organization in an ongoing civil lawsuit accusing him of overvaluing his business by millions of dollars.

Some $1.3m was paid to Silverman Thompson Slutkin and White, a law firm that is representing Mr Trump in an investigation by the Justice Department into his handling of classified documents.

About the same amount went to Michael van der Veen’s law firm, who defended the Trump Organization in a tax fraud trial in late 2022.

And Save America spent about $2m with Habba Madaio & Associates. Managing partner Alina Habba represents Mr Trump in several cases, including a defamation suit brought by the New York-bases writer E.Jean Carroll.